Jaxxon the lepi space rabbit was finally made canon thanks to a 2018 Star Wars comic. The original Star Wars featured a fascinating mythology that suggested a much wider universe to be explored. The success of Star Wars was far from a given, so in the event it was a financial disappointment, director George Lucas conceived of a low-budget follow-up that could reuse props from the film. This sequel was dubbed Splinter Of The Mind's Eye and involved Luke and Leia crashlanding on a swampy planet while being pursued by Darth Vader. This pitch was built from the ground-up to be cheap, with an opening space battle cut and Han Solo omitted since Lucas felt Harrison Ford wouldn't return.
Star Wars would later become a record-breaking success, which allowed George Lucas to fund a more expansive sequel with The Empire Strikes Back. This resulted in Splinter Of The Mind's Eye being recycled as a novel and it's considered the very first installment of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. This term referred to any book, comic, video game or animated series set in the Star Wars universe, which resulted in some fan-favorite characters and stories. The Star Wars EU continued the story when it seemed the odds of a sequel trilogy were bleak, but once Disney purchased LucasFilm in 2012, a new slate of movies was announced. This led to the EU being rebranded Star Wars Legends in 2014, with anything falling under that banner declared non-canon.
While Splinter Of The Mind's Eye is considered the first of the Star Wars Legends stories, technically Marvel's Star Wars comic series got there first. The first six issues adapted the original film, with issue #7 taking the characters on new adventures. The comic would run for 107 issues in total, and its success is credited by Marvel with saving them during a lean period financially. In Star Wars issue #8 the character of Jaxxon was introduced, who is a talking rabbit that teams up with Han Solo and others to form the Star-Hoppers of Aduba-3. This storyline was a blatant homage to The Magnificent Seven and saw the band team together to take down a villain called Serji-X Arrogantus.
Jaxxon is a lepi space smuggler who would reappear in several issues - until he disappeared without a trace. The reasons for this are unclear, but while rumors exist George Lucas asked for the character to be removed, this has never been confirmed. Over the years, Jaxxon would grow to be something of a hated character in the Expanded Universe. He was seen to represent the absolute silliness of the early Marvel Star Wars comics, and a giant talking rabbit who was created as an ode to Bugs Bunny had no place in a space opera.
Goofy as he may be, Jaxxon had his fans too, who found his snappy comebacks and tendency to resort to violence charming. It was assumed any trace of Jaxxon the lepi smuggler and his ship the Rabbit's Foot would remain solely in Star Wars Legends until the arrival of the Star Wars Adventures Annual 2018. In the story "The Lost Eggs of Livorno" Jaxxon is hired to deliver some prized eggs to the Rebel Alliance. After several close calls, Jaxxon delivers the eggs to Han Solo only learn they were fake. The Empire was closing in on the real deal, so Jaxxon's mission was a decoy intended to draw them on a merry chase. Jaxxon still gets paid his fee, however, and Solo has his ship repaired.
It's a fluffy story, but it was fun to see Star Wars embrace Jaxxon the lepi space smuggler after decades of embarassment. The character is inherently silly but he's also entertaining, and the Star Wars universe is a little more fun with the Rabbit's Foot flying around in it.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019