In a galaxy not so far, far, away, Star Wars is heading full-steam into its future. With seven mainstream films, Star Wars: The Last Jedi on the way, and a growing series of anthology films, we have enjoyed 40 years of Luke, Leia, and Vader.
While some of us may have limited ourselves to the offerings of Lucasfilm and Disney, there is a whole expanded universe of novels and comic books out there and ripe for the plucking. With more characters and adventures than you can shake a lightsaber at, Star Wars goes far beyond hearing Frank Oz’s Yoda voice or James Earl Jones breathing heavily.
Although the Expanded Universe stories were de-canonized in 2014 after the Disney takeover in 2012, and we now have a new wave of “official” canon, Star Wars has still gifted us some real gems that we may (or may not) see in the ongoing films.
With Disney planning more films up until 2030, there is plenty of room yet to shoehorn in a giant green rabbit or a Dark Side version of C-3PO. So, if you’re ready, here are the 15 Craziest Things You Won’t Know If You Hadven’t Read The Star Wars Comics
15. Luke Turned To The Dark Side
While it may have seemed that Darth Vader was the big bad of Star Wars, it is easy to forget he was the puppet of the pale-faced Emperor Palpatine. Just desserts were served when both perished at the end of Return of the Jedi… or did they?
Tom Veitch’s Dark Empire ran for six issues between 1991-1992 and charted the time after the fall of the Empire. Here, it turned out that Palpatine had gained immortality by transferring his mind into an army of Emperor clones.
The Palpatine Clone recruited a new apprentice, and out of all the people in the galaxy, he chose Luke Skywalker. Perhaps it was Luke’s curiosity or the family’s addictive personality for the Dark Side, but Luke put back on his black coveralls and embraced a wicked new persona.
Ironically, it is an idea that even Mark Hamill has embraced as a “never say never” for the films. If the rumored Kyber crystal around Luke’s neck in The Last Jedi belongs to who we think, Dark Luke could be closer than we first thought.
14. Boba Fett Survived The Sarlacc Pit
It will always amaze some that a character as seemingly insignificant as Boba Fett went on to become a fan-favorite. The stoic Bounty Hunter barely said two words in The Empire Strikes Back and none at all in Return of the Jedi, yet he nearly got his own anthology film.
When a malfunctioning jetpack flung Fett into the jaws of the Sarlacc Pit, many thought that it wasn’t a befitting end to the galaxy’s most fearsome bounty hunter. Luckily, the comic books aimed to fix that.
A Barve Like That: The Tale of Boba Fett appeared in 1996’s Tales from Jabba’s Palace and explained how Boba used concussion grenades and his exploding jetpack to escape the creature’s digestive juices. This was just the beginning and Boba went on to appear in dozens of Expanded Universe stories.
While all of this was discounted from canon, the novel Aftermath (which is canon) also hinted at Boba’s survival. A Sandcrawler is discovered, and inside the wreckage is a familiar sail barge and some melted Mandalorian armor. It is suggested that Boba’s suit protected him from the Sarlacc’s stomach acid and allowed him to escape, but only time will tell!
13. Morit Astarte Pushed His Twin Sister Into Lava
Brother and sister relationships have always been complicated in the Star Wars universe, but none more so than twins Morit and Aiolin Astarte. Their rich parents had backed the research of the evil Doctor Cylo, but fearing retribution at the end of the war, they gave their children over to Cylo for care. Unfortunately, he had other plans and they became his pet project.
Although the Force was weak in the brother and sister, it didn’t stop them going up against Vader. Morit and Aiolin planned on killing Vader and becoming the right-hand of The Emperor, however, neither were strong enough to kill him.
Keen to eliminate at least one of his competitors, a treacherous Morit pushed his sister into a lava bath and left her to perish. Vader removed her from the fire using the Force and made the severely burned Aiolin revealed all she knew. In an odd moment of compassion, Vader ended her life with a lightsaber.
12. Xenomorphs Exist In Star Wars
Besides Vader, there aren’t too many sci-fi nasties that scare the bejesus out of people. Enter the work of Swiss surrealist H. R. Giger and his infamous Xenomorph design. Known for their chest-bursting antics, this is one nasty we can’t see coming to play in the future of the family-friendly Star Wars franchise.
Famous for their role in the Alien franchise, eagle-eyed readers may have spotted a Xeno popping up in the Lucasverse. Although it was a once in a lifetime appearance, you can clearly spot the wasp-like alien in a panel from Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: The Phantom Affair. Even in a world of evil emperors and Rancors, a Xenomorph seems like a pretty brutal addition to Star Wars.
The big question is, though, if Xenomorphs exist in Star Wars, could Star Wars ever cross over with the Alien films? If so, we should probably look out for Chewbacca’s cameo in Alien: Covenant.
11. Vader Fought A Giant Cyborg Rancor
Speaking of Rancors, the beast with a face that only a mother could love wasn’t just limited to Return of the Jedi and the dungeons of Jabba’s palace. The concept for the Rancor was reportedly based on a cross between a bear and a potato – well, they certainly nailed that one.
We all remember when Luke was dropped into the creature’s pit and forced to battle it sans lightsaber, but luckily, all it took was a falling door to kill the Rancor. However, in Darth Vader #22, Lord Vader came face to face with an updated version that needed more than a knock on the head to keep it down.
On the hunt for Dr. Cylo, Vader came across weapons expert and general mad scientist Voidgazer. She had her very own pet for Lord Vader to play with. The cyborg Rancor was effectively on steroids – super strong and laden with pain suppressors. Even this was no match for Vader, who dispatched Rancor 2.0 with a saber swipe to its cybernetic limbs – piece of cake really.
10. Humans Are Allergic To Sex With A Space Otter
If you feel a burn, you should really head to the clinic! While STI education may be a bit out there for Star Wars, we did see two characters pulled together by love and ripped apart by their genitals.
Legendary fighter Wedge Antilles had always said “Corran Horn was not a man who gave up, no matter what the odds,” however, Horn probably should’ve given up on his relationship with the space otter Chertyl Ruluwoor.
It turns out that the Selonian race has a ravenous appetite for sex, but the duo found out that humans and otters clearly don’t mix. Corran and Chertyl realized they were deathly allergic to each other. Apparently, his sweat broke through her fur to irritate her, while he was allergic to her silky otter hair.
9. Jabba The Hutt And Vader Were Best Friends
How do a giant slug and half man-half robot become friends? Simple, it just takes some filling in the gaps of the Star Wars universe. With Jabba the Hutt originally intended to be in the original scenes of A New Hope, it was clear that George Lucas had big plans for the criminal overlord, sadly, he always felt underused.
Luckily the comic books were on hand and Darth Vader #1 was set after the events of A New Hope with a newly destroyed Death Star. Stepping foot on Tatooine for the first time in a long time, Vader blossomed his bromance with Jabba while there on personal and professional business.
He may have tried to use the old Jedi mind trick and also Force choke Hutt, but the two soon put aside their petty squabbling to strike a deal. Vader stuck around for a royal feast, a bantha hunt, and even a romantic trip on Jabba’s sail barge. The two later swapped stories about Obi-Wan and solidified their friendship.
8. Han Solo’s Secret Wife?
We’ve always needed something to drive Leia and Han apart and writer Jason Aaron came up with the perfect idea. Wrapping up in Star Wars #6, the hooded figure which has been stalking Han for two issues was to be revealed as… his wife!
Sana Solo had been after Han from Tatooine to the Monsua Nebula just for a catch-up. She was the sassy swindler who could out-shoot, out-fly, and outsmart Han. Showing up and pointing a gun at Han and Leia was one hell of a way to make an entrance.
Of course, it was all a ruse and Sana was actually called Sana Starros and had concocted a scam to pull off a robbery. Sana and Han had posed as a married couple and she was now hunting him because he fled with her half of the score.
We may not have seen the last of Sana, either. There were persistent rumors that either Tessa Thompson, Naomi Scott, or Zoe Kravitz were going to star in the Han Solo solo film, so here’s betting Sana pops up alongside Alden Ehrenreich’s titular nerf herder.
7. Anakin And Vader Fought In His Vader’s Mind
The mind can be a strange place, and while we often battle with our own thoughts, we can’t actually have a physical fight up there. Something as trivial as actual fact is never going to stop Star War, so Darth Vader #24 saw the Sith Lord fight his younger self within his own mind.
It was a deep dive into what made the metallic maniac tick and also saw him fully embrace the Dark Side. After replaying the duel on Mustafar in his head, Vader imagined a version where he is victorious over Obi-Wan.
He then found himself facing Anakin on the mental plane as the pair have their own battle on Mustafar. Vader obviously defeated his younger self and completely removed Anakin from his mind.
As we saw at the end of Return of the Jedi, there was always a little bit of lil orphan Anakin locked away in there, but the comics completely erased that. Imaginary Anakin was finally forced to watch Padme’s death, but this time it was at the hands of Vader’s Force choke.
6. The Emperor Had A Three-Eyed Son
Emperor Palpatine, you sly dog you. While we may just think of Palpatine as the pale-faced scar victim who tumbled to his doom, there was actually a time that he had a family (of sorts).
His son was a white-haired mutant with three eyes, who was affectionately named Triclops – no guessing how long it took the writers to come up with that one. Due to being trained up to be one of the Emperor’s most-trusted allies, Palpatine saw Triclops as his biggest failure and even had him imprisoned.
Sporting his third eye on the back of his head and electroshock scars from the Empire, Triclops wasn’t exactly the prettiest flower in the bunch; however, he still managed to have a son with Jedi princess Kendalina before her murder.
Locked in the spice mines of Kessel, Triclops did eventually manage to escape, betray his father, and then join the Rebel Alliance. It all worked out in the end when he vanished to safety with his own son and left all memories of Palpatine behind.
5. Han And Chewie Battled Zombies
What do you get if you cross The Walking Dead and Star Wars? The answer is 2003’s Star Wars Tales 17 and the “Planet of the Dead” storyline.
Running low on fuel, Han and Chewie land the Falcon on a nearby planet that has no signs of life. After being ambushed by an army of corpses, the duo run into a local woman and her baby. She reveals that the zombies are the crew of a “Great Interplanetary Ark“ which crashed into the fog and they are now forced to wander the planet in a permanent state of death.
Saving the planet and escaping with their lives, Han and Chewie obviously lived to fight another day, however, their shuffle with zombies was far from over. Like the Star Wars version of Ghostbusters, Han and Chewie again took on the undead in the 2009 novel Death Troopers. Trapped on a prison barge with a deadly illness, it was exactly like the third season of The Walking Dead – minus the eye-patched madman.
4. Vader Has His Own Torture Droids
While it would be nice to think that all the robots of Star Wars are as polite and well-spoken as C-3PO, that isn’t the case. The live-action films have mainly focused on C-3PO, R2-D2, BB-8, and the wisecracking K2-S0, but the comics have expanded into a whole host of deranged droids.
Vader’s entourage contains his very own torture droids called 0-0-0 and BT-1. Just as 3PO and R2 come as a pair, so do Vader’s black bots. Triple Zero (as he is sometimes known) has a penchant for taking the vital fluids from inside people, while BT-1 is an assassin droid disguised as an astromech.
It could be ridiculous, but it somehow works. These deadly bots are like the evil twins of the fan-favorite characters who wreak havoc in the comics. However, be warned, if you are going to play holochess with 0-0-0, he is a legendarily sore loser and murders anyone who defeats him.
3. Leia and Chewie Got To Use Lightsabers
There is no denying that the lightsaber is the weapon of choice in Star Wars, however, few of our main cast have actually wielded them in the films. While many hoped that Force-sensitive Princess Leia would get to battle with a lightsaber onscreen, we’ve been left in the lurch.
The comics had Leia hold a saber on several occasions, but Star Wars #12 blew us all away in just one panel. After many years of waiting, we finally got to see Leia, Chewbacca, and Han hold the iconic item and spring into action.
When rescuing Luke from the planet Nar Shaddaa and an aggressive Hutt, R2-D2 zoomed in and popped out a couple of lightsabers that were conveniently stashed in his body. Chewie actually got to spin two sabers, which is possibly one of the weirder moments from the comic books.
2. There Was A Hutt Jedi
No, it isn’t just Jabba – the Hutt clan go far beyond the palace-dwelling barge sailor. As the only known Hutt to enter the Jedi Order, Beldorion was certainly large and in charge.
For a giant slug, Beldorion did pretty well at the academy and soon rose to the rank of Jedi Knight. Sadly, when on a mission to the desolate planet of Nam Chorios, he fell like so many and was lured in by the Dark Side. Beldorion then took over the planet and went mad with power, demanding that people refer to him as “Beldorion the Splendid” and starting his own cult.
The Hutt ruler managed to avoid the great Jedi purge and was eventually tracked down by Luke and Leia. When the princess found herself captured, Beldorion taunted her with stories from yesteryear about the likes of Yoda. Luckily, Leia managed to find her lightsaber and sliced him in like yesterday’s sushi. Although he was a powerful Jedi and centuries old, Leia left him as just half the Hutt he used to be.
1. Jaxxon The Bunny
Yoda, the Wookiees, and the Ewoks, there is one creature that is even weirder than that lot combined. First appearing in Star Wars #8 in 1977, Jaxon is the giant green bunny that may be one of the sillier additions from Marvel’s take on Star Wars. We’d still rather see him than more of Jar Jar.
He piloted the aptly named ship The Rabbit’s Foot and then joined the equally ironic Star-Hopper mercenaries. He was also reportedly created as a homage to Warner Bros’ character Bugs Bunny, who repeatedly called people “Jackson.” The green giant also gets the honor of being one of the first character created outside of Lucas’ films.
As a grizzled war veteran and expert pilot, Jaxxon actually wouldn’t look out of place alongside Chewie and Han; however, a bit like Howard the Duck, Jaxxon has sadly gone a little out of fashion. Unfortunately the character disappeared after only a few issues and sparked the rumor that George Lucas himself had Jaxxon removed – if Rian Johnson is reading, please take note!
Which is your favorite WTF moment in the Star Wars comics? Sound off in the comments below!