Star Wars has just made the ancient name of the Sith homeworld, Korriban, canon once again. When Disney took over Lucasfilm in 2012, they faced a difficult decision. Over the decades, the Star Wars franchise had become incredibly complex, with an Expanded Universe of official tie-in novels, comics, games, handbooks, and more. Lucasfilm had traditionally operated under a two-tier canon, with the EU content considered canon right up until the moment George Lucas contradicted it on the big or small screen.
This had led to a pretty confusing situation, because the canon had to be adjusted every time a new movie came out. Meanwhile, because the EU spanned millennia - from the dawn of the Jedi and the rise of the Sith to over a century after the first Star Wars film - it was impossible to do anything without creating these inconsistencies. Disney ultimately decided to erase the EU from the canon completely, dubbing all non-movie/TV show content "Legends." Since then, Lucasfilm has gradually incorporated some of the best elements back into the canon.
Now among those elements is that Sith homeworld. George Mann's Star Wars: Myths & Fables is a collection of in-universe legends, but it still presents a lot of background information on the galaxy as it is. One of the fables originates from the canon Sith homeworld of Moraband, and there's a throwaway reference to the fact it used to be known by other names, such as Korriban. The text reads:
"On the desolate planet Moraband, high on a weatherworn mountaintop, stands the statue of a robed Twi'lek.
For a thousand years or more, since the ancient times when the world was known by the name Korriban..."
Behind the scenes, the name of the ancient Sith homeworld has long been a controversial subject among Star Wars fans - even before Disney purchased Lucasfilm. Korriban was conceived by writers Tom Veitch and Kevin J. Anderson, and appeared in his comic Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith 2: The Quest for the Sith. There, it was a barren world greatly influenced by the dark side of the Force, and it was haunted by powerful Sith spirits. It was described as the public capital of the Sith Empire in the days of Revan, millennia before the era of Luke Skywalker.
Unfortunately, while George Lucas liked the concept of Korriban, he reportedly felt the name was a little too close to "Coruscant." As a result, when he used the planet in the Clone Wars animated series, he renamed it "Moraband." This new name clearly derives from the Latin word "moribund," which refers to something in a stagnant, near-dead state. Star Wars fans hypothesized that the planet's name had simply changed in the past, and that Korriban and Moraband were just two different names for the same world. It seems that theory was correct, because Korriban has been officially mentioned for the first time in the new canon.
This raises the intriguing possibility that other elements of Veitch and Anderson's comic could ultimately be absorbed into the Disney canon too. He suggested that the Sith were originally an alien race who lived on Korriban, and that it was visited by rogue Jedi who transformed the Sith into a cult. Interestingly, there have indeed been references in the Disney era suggesting the Sith were a Jedi splinter group. In Marvel Comics' Star Wars #19, Luke Skywalker unlocked a series of ancient Jedi Holocrons, one of which featured a significant piece of dialogue. "Once we were brothers in the Force," it explained, "but from the Hundred Year Darkness were born the Sith." This was confirmed by the online Star Wars Encyclopedia, which claimed it all began with a single rogue Jedi Knight, who believed that the true power of the Force could only be claimed by tapping into its dark side. This rogue was exiled - and presumably headed to Korriban, where he established the ancient Sith.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019