For fans of the Star Wars franchise, the days of waiting years for new media is over. A new film will be landing in theaters each year, with The Last Jedi coming at the end of 2017. On top of that, plenty of comics and novels are fleshing out the various corners of the galaxy far, far away. Television audiences also get a weekly dose of rebellion thanks to the animated series Rebels. The show has allowed the period preceding Rogue One and A New Hope to be explored in depth as the burgeoning Rebel Alliance slowly comes together.

Despite the show’s success, its days have always been numbered as it gets closer to the movies. As such, rumors have picked up that a new series may be on the way. Despite heaps of material that was once canon now being moved to the Legends line, the old Expanded Universe could still help provide the upcoming show with plenty of inspiration. Rebels producer Dave Filoni recently opened up about how the Prequel Trilogy helped expand the lore of Star Wars. Luckily for fans of the EU, it’s doing the same.

Comic Book recently spoke with Filoni about the effect of the EU on his show and how the characters and events from those books and comics have slowly begun manifesting in the new Star Wars canon.

“I just have a tremendous respect for it all, and I have a tremendous respect for the fact that people love it. I knew, many of us did inside Lucasfilm, how difficult it would be when we’re saying, ‘Okay, these are now Legends regardless of how much that makes sense.'”

Hammerhead Lightmaker Star Wars Rebels Producer on Making EU Characters Canon

With such a dense mythology, it’s not surprising that the new Star Wars story group would pull from the EU. In their effort to interconnect all of their stories, the possibility that characters from animation could show up in the movies was proven when Saw Gerrera jumped from The Clone Wars to Rogue One. The recent film actually featured a surprising number of Easter eggs and references, given its standalone nature, and Filoni touched on that as well.

“It’s not always just characters. There’s a couple other things as we go forward even that will pop up that people will see. Sometimes it’s just vehicles or things that are reminiscent, again, because a lot of times guys from Lucasfilm designed stuff, and then it went into product into the EU. So why not use it? Making someone happy out there. I think that’s when we work at our best though. None of that was contrived. It all came out of necessity and telling stories and linking things up, and John Knoll had that idea to have them utilized in that way, and he’s like, ‘Would that makes sense?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, it sounds great.’ They are called Hammerheads, so might as well hit something with them.”

The scene with the Hammerheads was no easy feat, but it paid off by providing an exciting and tense action scene along with a small connection to the larger Star Wars mythos. Another key example of an EU character becoming canon is Admiral Thrawn, the villain for this season of Rebels. Based on an EU character, his inclusion on the show was no mere coincidence. Said Filoni:

“Thrawn is a great example of that. I could’ve created a new admiral, right? But why, when there’s such a fantastic character like Thrawn? As long as you can use that character the right way, the way they were intended, and you’re not changing them, because if you’re going to change them too much, then don’t even bother. Leave that character alone until you can use them in a way that we’re familiar with.”

Hopefully, characters from the EU will continue popping up in the new canon. We’ve already seen elements of the Jedi-Mandalorian War do just that in the recent arc of Rebels. If that’s possible, maybe the idea of Rosario Dawson playing Ashoka Tano in an upcoming movie isn’t such a pipe dream.

Rebels continues next Saturday @ 8:30 p.m. with “Through Imperial Eyes” on Disney XD.

Source: Comic Book

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