For over 30 years, Star Wars fans followed the continuing adventures of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and the rest of the cast of the saga through a series of books, comic books, and video games. This ever expanding multi-media universe was called the Star Wars Expanded Universe and was largely considered canon by the fans.
When George Lucas sold his company, and all the associated rights, to Disney, fans rejoiced at the news that there would be a continuation of the story on the big screen. However, there was a catch. The Expanded Universe was now no longer to be considered canon, with the new series of movies following a new timeline. Reaction to this has been mixed. Some are happy with the new status quo, others are devastated at the loss of the heroes and villains that they have enjoyed for decades.
With the news that fan-favorite Grand Admiral Thrawn is going to be featured in Rebels, bringing him back into the official canon, we now take a look at some of the best characters from the Expanded Universe, and how they could potentially be brought back into the fold, albeit altered from their previous origins, via the TV show Star Wars Rebels.
Here are the Star Wars Legends Characters That Rebels Should Re-Canonize.
“I’m a fighter. I’ve always been a fighter. The few times when I have been at leisure, I’ve been miserable. I want challenges, I crave them.”
―Mara Jade Skywalker
During the rebellion, Mara Jade operated as The Emperor’s Hand, a Force-trained assassin who could take on the missions that needed a subtlety that Darth Vader could not match.
After the death of the Emperor, Mara Jade was haunted by his final command to kill Luke Skywalker. Eventually overcoming her dark-side conditioning, Mara Jade trained as a Jedi and eventually married the leader of the new Jedi Order, Luke Skywalker. Together they had a son, Ben Skywalker, also a Jedi.
Together the Skywalker family fought many enemies such as rogue Jedi, the Imperial Remnant and the Yuuzhan Vong. Eventually Mara Jade met her end at the hands of the insane fallen Jedi, Jacen Solo.
Now, if Mara Jade were to appear as one of the Emperor’s hands in Rebels, it could be in her original guise as a villain. We’ve already seen Vader and the Inquisitors, so Mara Jade would not just be excellent fan service but would also seamlessly fit the narrative also.
“No change comes without conflict. Perhaps my destiny is to be the irritant that forces the discussion, the blister that lets you know your boots don’t fit.”
Kyp Durran was imprisoned in the spice mines of Kessel at a very young age by the Galactic Emperor. His anger, combined with his immense Force sensitivity, made him a target of the Force ghost of ancient Sith lord Exar Kun. Overcoming the influence of the ancient Sith, Kyp Durron would go on to become an influential, albeit polarizing, member of the Jedi Order.
Given his age, he’d barely be a baby during the era of Rebels, but it would be an insane Easter Egg to have his parents, or elder brother, cross paths with the crew of The Ghost. Perhaps if they were to be introduced as rebel sympathizers, or as agents for the Rebel underground. Either way, it would be great just to see his name dropped.
“I’m no Jedi; I’m just a guy with a lightsaber and a few questions.”
A former Imperial Stormtrooper and self-taught Jedi, Kyle Katarn is most famous for appearing in the Jedi Knight series of video games. He later became a key member of the Jedi Order in the novels, teaching the next generation of knights. Given that he’s slightly older than Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, the latter of which has already appeared in Rebels, he’d fit the timeline rather well. At this stage, he’d still be a Stormtrooper, so he could meet the Rebels and one of them could open his eyes to the true nature of the Empire, leading to his eventual defection.
This would differ slightly to the Legends timeline, where Kyle initially believes the Rebels to be the murderers of his father. Perhaps this could be addressed, perhaps not. Again, his involvement at this time could be tweaked into the new canon, allowing for his use at a later stage.
“Daala has no political motives—she just wants to destroy things.”
The first female admiral in the Imperial Navy, Admiral Natasi Daala was an imposing figure in the Empire. Tutored by Grand Moff Tarkin, she was a cunning military genius. She oversaw the Maw facility where the Empire devised and constructed many of their most advanced superweapons, including the Death Star prototype and the Sun Crusher.
Most of her appearances take place during the New Republic era, but her backstory would still fit in well with the established canon. As Grand Moff Tarkin is active during the era that Rebels is set, she could be used as a young officer, keen to ingratiate herself with her superiors and surpass her peers. Beyond mere fan service, she could be a long-running adversary for the relatively young rebellion, coming into conflict with them numerous times over the series’ run.
“You see, to contend with Xizor is to lose.”
Despite not being a Force sensitive being, Xizor was considered to be one of the most influential people in the Galactic Empire, second only to Emperor Palpatine himself. His intense rivalry with Darth Vader ultimately led to his downfall, but for many years he was one of the wealthiest people in the galaxy, largely due to his enormous criminal empire.
His high profile during the Rebels era, along with his business interests, both criminal and legitimate, would allow him and his various underlings to be at the very least name-dropped as an Easter egg for long term fans. More than that, he would be a very interesting choice should the Rebels have to interact with the criminal side of the galaxy. He would be a welcome change from the pirates such as Hondo, or the various Hutts. As the majority of his storyline fits in with the established canon already, his re-canonization should be a priority.
“Let me assure you that I am not a pacifist. In the past two days alone, I have killed several people, and if you ever try to harm me or mine, I will force you to confess publicly all your crimes, and then I will execute you. I assure you, I find you to be that contemptible!”
―Teneniel Djo, to Ta’a Chume
One of the Force witches of Dathomir, Teneniel Djo could easily be reintroduced to the new timeline due to the Dathomir witches being featured heavily on Clone Wars. Initially a gifted Force witch, Teneniel would go onto marry Prince Isolder of the Hapes Consortium and go on to be one of the richest and most powerful women in the galaxy. Her daughter would go on to become a Jedi, and later would take her own place as ruler of Hapes.
Dathomir has already been established during the Clone Wars, so Teneniel Djo’s re-canonization would be fairly straightforward. Given Ezra’s ongoing education in the Force, and the Jedi’s previous experiences with the Force-Witches, her return would be both a nice nod to the fans as well as an exciting story in its own right.
“This is Captain Tycho Celchu, as loyal a son of Alderaan and the New Republic as ever lived. He willingly chose to subject himself to a surrendering of his basic freedoms in order to bring the Empire down. Because of suspicions about what the Empire might have done to him, it was felt he could not be trusted, yet this man refused to let those suspicions prevent him from doing all he could to destroy the Empire.”
Another former imperial, Tycho Celchu defected to the rebellion after the destruction of Alderaan. A native of Alderaan, he was speaking with his family via HoloNet when the planet was destroyed by the first Death Star. When he discovered the reason for the signal going dead, he defected and became an ace pilot in Rogue Squadron, becoming best friends with Wedge Antilles.
During the era of Rebels, Tycho would still be an Imperial pilot. As an antagonist of the Rebels, he’d be a lethal, if not evil, adversary for them, and is easily a better fighter pilot than anyone we’ve seen on the show so far.
“I never forget anything.”
―Winter Celchu, to Admiral Gial Ackbar
An orphan, Winter was raised alongside Princess Leia Organa in the royal palace on Alderaan. Often mistaken for the princess, for her more regal bearing, Winter was in fact a spy for the rebellion from a young age. Her eidetic memory, along with her courage made her an excellent agent for gathering information.
Alongside princess Leia, Winter served the interests of Senator Bail Organa until his death. During the Rebels era, she would have been in her late teens and very much an established part of the inner circle of the rebellion. Even if only seen in the background during another appearance by Bail or Leia Organa, her appearance on Rebels would be an amazing Easter egg. She wouldn’t even need a name drop as her silver hair makes her instantly recognizable for most die hard fans.
“I fear him because he can be relentless. He hates me because I freed the bounty hunter who murdered his father. Though not a crime, it is something for which he will not forgive me. Were he disposed toward murder, I would already be dead.”
―Kirtan Loor, to Ysanne Isard, about Corran Horn
Initially a cop on Corellia, Corran Horn joined the Rebellion and became an ace pilot in Rogue Squadron, and later still, a Jedi Knight trained by Luke Skywalker himself. His wide ranging skill-set, from investigator to ace pilot to Jedi Knight, make Corran Horn one of the most interesting Legends characters and one that is much loved by the fans.
During the Rebels era, he’d still be a young cop on Corellia chasing down smugglers and the like. Should the crew of the Ghost enter that particular star system, they’d undoubtedly encounter some type of law enforcement. His Force sensitivity could be touched upon briefly, without altering his original storyline.
“You can’t even call your wife on a comlink without Talon Karrde hearing about it.”
A smuggler and information broker of the highest order, Talon Karrde was a key figure in the early days of the New Republic. After the fall of Jabba The Hutt, he became the number one criminal master in the galaxy, but was still regarded as honest and decent, especially by the Skywalkers and Solos, who had enormous respect for him.
During the Rebels era, he would still be a lieutenant of his predecessor Jorj Car’das. Given that the rebels have been known to work alongside criminals and smugglers such as Lando Calrission, it isn’t a stretch to think they would run into someone as well-connected as Talon Karrde at some stage. Given his later role in the Katana Fleet incident, and his opposition to Grand Admiral Thrawn, his reintroduction would fit in well once Thrawn is reintroduced.
“He doesn’t want to owe anybody, doesn’t want anybody to owe him. He works for whoever pays the most. He’s downright magic with anything that flies, and he can pick wing nuts off a table top with a blaster without scorching the finish. He’s a good man to have at your back when the going gets hot—as long as your money lasts.”
―Lando Calrissian, on Dash Rendar
Dash Rendar was born into a wealthy family, but chose a career in the Imperial Navy and became a skilled pilot. Falling foul of one of Prince Xizor’s schemes, his family died and he was exiled from the core worlds. He became a skilled and experienced smuggler, making the acquaintance of both Lando and Han Solo.
About a decade older than Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, Dash was already smuggler by the time of the Rebels series. Given the overlap between his line of work and the crew of the Ghost, his reintroduction should be a priority. It is worth noting that his ship, The Outrider, is seen in the background of the Special Edition of A New Hope, so – on a technicality – he is already part of the established canon.
“Fel is the best Imperial pilot alive.”
After the Force sensitive Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, Soontir Fel is considered by many to be the best pilot of all time, exceeding even the aces of Rogue Squadron. Raised on Corellia as the son of a farmer, Soontir entered the military academy and became a TIE Fighter pilot. Due to circumstances beyond his control, he was relegated to an inferior squadron. In time, he turned the fortunes of his squadron around and they became the best in the empire, gaining him the position of Baron of the Empire and one of its key assets.
Defecting to the rebellion when he grew tired of imperial corruption, he joined Rogue Squadron. Later, he was captured by Grand Admiral Thrawn and agreed to serve the Empire of the Hand as Thrawn had made Fel aware of the many threats to the galaxy that most were unaware of. He raised a family among the Chiss people, and became influential among them, despite their isolationist policy.
During the Rebels era, he would be leading the 181st Imperial Fighter Wing at the beginning of their rise to prominence. Like many Imperials, he’s not evil, but he does serve faithfully and would be a lethal adversary to the crew of the Ghost and their rebellion allies.
Galen Marek (Starkiller)
“I am my Master’s weapon. I lay waste to all that stands in his path.”
―Starkiller, regarding his role as Darth Vader’s apprentice
Born on the Wookiee home world of Kashyyk, Galen Marek was the son of two Jedi that abandoned the order during the Clone Wars. His parents died and he was found and abducted by Darth Vader. Vader trained him as his dark apprentice and used him in much the same way that the Emperor had used Mara Jade, as an assassin and personal agent of destruction. Longing to be a true Sith, Marek immersed himself in the dark side of the Force and hunted surviving Jedi. Eventually he turned against Vader due to Vader’s betrayal of him, he fought both Vader and Sidious at the cost of his life, but in so doing, helped the Rebellion to come together.
Given that Rebels is set around the time of the formation of a more organized Rebellion, Galen Marek, or even his clone (simply known as Starkiller) could be a major enemy of the rebellion. A series long antagonist and powerful Force user would be a change of pace for the often lighthearted show.
Despite a cast of literally millions, the Star Wars universe always has room for more characters. Do you have any favorite characters from the rebellion era that you’d like to see cross over from Legends to the new canon? Please, let us know in the comments below!