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Star Wars: 15 Things You Didn’t Know Happened Before The Phantom Menance

The galaxy far, far away was once an awesome place... until Jar Jar Binks ruined everything.

The original Star Wars trilogy entertained audiences across the world for decades, with the story of Luke Skywalker and his friends being wrapped up in three movies. Those fans who wanted more had to turn to the Star Wars Expanded Universe, which was a massive media franchise that encompassed things like comic books, novels, and video games. The Expanded Universe chronicles almost every aspect of the Star Wars universe, to the point where a random alien sitting in the Mos Eisley Cantina has had more words written about their life than most real-life important historical figures.

The purchase of Lucasfilm by Disney meant that the Star Wars Expanded Universe (now called Star Wars Legends) is no longer considered canon. This means that the amount of canonical material that still fits with the timeline of the movies has been cut down considerably. We are here today to look at the pieces of Star Wars lore concerning the pre-Phantom Menace timeline that survived the Disney culling. From the truth concerning the master of Darth Sidious, to how Yoda earned his most esteemed title of them all.

Here are Fifteen Things You Didn’t Know Happened Before Episode 1!

15 The Truth About Darth Plagueis

Darth Sidious tempted Anakin Skywalker to the dark side with promises of secret Sith knowledge that would allow them to prevent others from dying. Sidious claimed that there was once a powerful Sith Lord, named Darth Plagueis, who possessed the ability to control midi-chlorians to the extent that he could use the Force to heal someone and even create life itself.

It was speculated by the fans that the reason Darth Sidious had such intimate knowledge of Darth Plagueis was that he was once his apprentice.

This meant that the traitor who slew Plagueis that Sidious spoke of was none other than Sidious himself. The connection between Darth Sidious and Darth Plagueis was confirmed on the official Star Wars website. The Rule of Two meant that Sidious would slay Darth Plagueis and take on his own apprentice, in the form of Darth Maul.

14 The Exile Of Jango Fett

It has always been assumed that both Jango Fett and Boba Fett are Mandalorians, due to the fact that they wear the armor worn by the warrior caste of Mandalore. This might not be true, due to the fact that anyone can put on Mandalorian armor and claim to be a native of their world.

The canon backstory of Jango Fett is shrouded in mystery. He claims to have been born on Concord Dawn, which is one of the planets in the Mandalore sector that was devastated by war. It isn't clear whether this claim is true or not. Jango Fett was declared a fraud by the officials of Mandalore, who claimed that he simply stole a suit of armor and was passing himself off as a Mandalorian in order to make himself seem more threatening than he was.

13 Darth Maul Vs. Pirates

Darth Maul has received far more attention in the Star Wars books and TV shows than he ever got in The Phantom Menace. Maul was only there to look cool and use an awesome weapon, with no information given to his backstory or motives. The Darth Maul comic book series that was released in 2017 gave us a closer look at the motives of the titular Sith Lord. He only ever found satisfaction in the heat of battle and craved the opportunity to test his skills against a Jedi Knight.

One of the first missions that Darth Maul was given by his master was to take down a group of pirates that were hassling Darth Sidious' allies in the Trade Federation.

This meant that Maul had fight off numerous pirate ships using his cloaked vessel, before slaying the remainder of them in close combat.

12 The Lost Love Of Obi-Wan Kenobi

Members of the Jedi Order were strictly forbidden from entering into romantic relationships. This culminated in Anakin Skywalker betraying the Jedi to the Sith, in order to seek a way to save the woman he loved. The fact that Jedi Knights were forbidden from finding romantic partners makes it difficult for those creating stories around them, as most writers will have to choose between ignoring the rule or telling another forbidden love story.

Obi-Wan Kenobi was given the choice between following his heart and remaining with the Jedi Order. He once fell in love with a woman named Duchess Satine Kryze. This happened during a mission with his master Qui-Gon. The two of them had to protect her from assassins for over a year. It was during this time that Obi-Wan fell in love with the Duchess, but he chose to complete his training and become a Jedi Knight.

11 Mace Windu & The False Prophet

The Star Wars fandom has often wondered what would have happened in Revenge of the Sith if Anakin didn't stop Mace Windu from killing Darth Sidious. Would Mace Windu have fallen to the dark side, due to the fact that he killed Sidious in cold blood?

It seems that Mace Windu had to overcome his anger during his time as a Padawan, as he came close to killing a false Jedi prophet.

We saw part of Mace Windu's backstory in Jedi of the Republic: Mace Windu, Part IV. Mace Windu journeyed to the planet Mathas during his apprenticeship with Cyslin Myr. They were sent to investigate reports of a man named Drooz, who was using the Jedi name to milk money out of a population that was dying from a plague. It was up to Windu and his master to expose Drooz as a fraud.

10 Yoda's Secret War

George Lucas once made an edict that no part of the Star Wars Expanded Universe could focus on Yoda's backstory. This was something that he wanted to keep mysterious. This edict is no longer in effect, so we may see a solo Yoda movie at some point.

The Star Wars comic series showed Yoda's training during the pre-Phantom Menace era. He was called by the Force to an unidentified planet, where a primitive race of humanoids was waging war. It was here that he encountered a young man named Garro, who possessed a higher affinity with the Force, which he referred to as "Stonepower." Yoda became Garro's student, though he was unable to prevent a further escalation of the war.

Garro and his disciples managed to use their power to animate a mountain, which Yoda was forced to stop using his own abilities.

9 The Statue Of Maz Kanata

Maz Kanata is one of the oldest beings in the Star Wars universe. You would think that she would have run out of things to do, but she was still so busy that she could only give the Rebels a brief Skype call in The Last Jedi. 

Maz Kanata maintains a fortress on her homeworld of Takodana, which is a remnant of one of the ancient wars between the Jedi and the Sith.

She managed to keep her castle throughout the reign of the Empire and it still stands as of the current movie. The canon reference book called Star Wars: Complete Locations revealed that the huge statue of Maz Kanata that exists on the castle grounds was actually built by one of her husbands. The marriage didn't last, but the statue remains as a keepsake of their relationship.

8 The Assassination Of Sifo-Dyas

The clone army that was created from Jango Fett's DNA was originally commissioned by a Jedi Knight named Sifo-Dyas, who saw a massive intergalactic conflict in the future. Sifo-Dyas originally asked for aid from the other members of the Jedi Council, but he was banished for his desire to build an army. This didn't stop him from traveling to Kamino and ordering the creation of a secret clone army.

What Sifo-Dyas didn't realize was that he was playing right into the hands of the Sith with this plan. When Count Dooku and Darth Sidious learned of Sifo-Dyas' plan, they arranged for him to be assassinated, through the destruction of his shuttle. This allowed them to take control of the development of the clone army and create a situation where the Republic & Jedi Order would be forced to accept their help, which would lead to their downfall.

7 Tarkin's Strict Anti-Pirate Policies

Grand Moff Tarkin was one of Darth Sidious' most trusted allies, to the point where he even outranked Darth Vader within the Empire. Tarkin was the one tasked with commanding the original Death Star, which gave him the power to destroy worlds. This shows the supreme amount of trust that Sidious held for him.

The relationship between Grand Moff Tarkin and Darth Sidious was divulged in a novel, called Tarkin. 

It was here that we learned of his pre-Empire career, where he was a member of the Outland Regions Security Force. Tarkin's first major military achievement came about during his conflict with the pirates known as Q'anah's Marauders. He was responsible for capturing their leader and trapping them aboard a ship that was programmed to fly directly into the nearest sun.

6 The Jedi Prison

The Sith had not been seen for centuries prior to the events of The Phantom Menace. It seems that there were still concerns about the possibility of a Jedi Knight losing their way and seeking the power of the dark side, as the Galactic Republic actually funded the creation of a prison that was made specifically to hold rogue Jedi. This facility was known as The Citadel, due to how secure it was.

The Citadel was built on the planet Lola Sayu, during a period of peace within the galaxy. This facility was built to house Jedi Knights that had lost their way, though this number remained small. The Citadel was later taken over by the Separatists, who used it as a penitentiary for their most important prisoners.

5 The Creation Of The Yavin Code

There have always been certain rules to warfare that have been followed (or ignored) in every major real-life conflict. Examples of these include the fair treatment of prisoners and acts of violence towards civilians being classed as war crimes. There are similar rules within the Star Wars universe.

Obi-Wan Kenobi quotes the "Yavin Code" in The Clone Wars, which included the rule that all prisoners had the right to a blindfold before being executed.

The Yavin Code was first created during the Yavin Convention, which happened over a millennia before the events of A New Hope. We have yet to learn the details of the conflict that led to the creation of the Yavin Code, but it must have been pretty horrific if it led to a set of rules that were still being followed over a thousand years later.

4 The Defeat Of The Zygerrian Slave Empire

The greatest enemy of the Jedi Order has always been the Sith, to the point where the Jedi were forced to maintain vigilance against their foes during the centuries of peace that preceded The Phantom Menace. 

The Sith weren't the only enemies of the Jedi Order, as they once had to oppose the might of the Zygerrian Slave Empire. The Zygerrians are a race of beast-like aliens who once ruled over several sectors of the galaxy. Their empire was built upon slave labor, which brought them into open conflict with the Jedi Order. It took many years, but the Jedi were able to dismantle the Zygerrian Slave Empire.

It's never explained why the Jedi so vehemently opposed the Zygerrian Slave Empire, yet seemingly had no problem with the open slave trade maintained by the Hutts.

3 The Creation Of The Darksaber

The vast majority of lightsabers are identical in terms of functionality, with the differences between them being mostly aesthetic.

One of the most powerful lightsabers in existence was created by Tarre Vizsla, who was the first Mandalorian Jedi Knight. 

He was able to create a weapon known as the Darksaber, which had a blade that was black. The Darksaber was strong enough to overpower other lightsabers, but its wielder could still be overcome by a more skillful opponent. The existence of the Darksaber would turn out to be a detriment to the Jedi Order, as it was stolen by Mandalorian warriors during a raid on the Jedi Temple. The Darksaber would become a symbol of strength on Mandalore, where it was wielded by many different rulers, despite their lack of connection to the Force.

2 The Dooku & Yoda Team-Up

It seems as if every piece of Star Wars media that was released after The Phantom Menace has tried to portray Yoda as some sort of unstoppable killing machine. He went from being a diminutive puppet that was strong with the Force to becoming a CGI video game character that could annihilate his foes with an unstoppable barrage of lightsaber attacks.

It was revealed in The Clone Wars that Count Dooku and Yoda had once defeated a creature known as a Terentatek in battle. Star Wars: Commander gave us a glimpse at the head of a Terentatek, as it was displayed as a trophy. As you can imagine, the Terentatek was a gigantic monster, but it didn't stand a chance against the post-Phantom Menace killing machine version of Yoda.

1 Yoda Became The Hero Of The Wookies

One of the reasons why Yoda survived Order 66 was due to the fact that he was stationed on Kashyyyk at the time. He had a long relationship with the Wookies, to the point where he was considered one of the greatest heroes of Kashyyyk. The Wookies ensured that Yoda survived the onslaught of the clone troopers and helped him to escape from the planet.

The reason the Wookies held Yoda in such high-esteem was due to his involvement in the creation of a peace treaty between the worlds of Kashyyyk and Trandosha.

The Wookies and the Trandoshans held a deep dislike for each other, which often resulted in armed conflicts. Yoda was instrumental in helping to form peaceful relationships between Kashyyyk and Trandosha. This earned him the title of "Defender of the Home Tree."

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Which of these interested for you most? Let us know in the comments!

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Star Wars: 15 Things You Didn’t Know Happened Before The Phantom Menance