Star Wars is an incredibly expansive universe, one of the largest in all of entertainment media. There are thousands of worlds, characters, and creatures to learn about that an entire lifetime wouldn't be enough. When Disney purchased Lucasfilm for over $4 billion in 2012, years upon years of new films began development, not to mention all the supplemental books, television shows, games, and other materials. But to have a clean slate, the company decided to restructure their canon.
In doing so, almost all of the former Expanded Universe (EU) was disqualified and demoted to the "Legends" banner. This universe was full of thousands of years worth of stories, many of which were fan favorites. Looking back, here are ten examples of erased storylines and characters from the former Star Wars EU.
10 Most Of The Thrawn Trilogy
A significant blow to EU Star Wars fans, but also the most apparent removal, was of the disqualification of The Thrawn Trilogy. Set five years after the Battle of Endor, The Thrawn Trilogy was the official continuation of the original Star Wars trilogy. Author Timothy Zahn, the mastermind behind the series, created some of the most iconic EU characters through these books. Notable first appearances included Grand Admiral Thrawn, Mara Jade, Talon Karde, and more.
Since the reboot in 2012, Lucasfilm has sparingly saved a handful of characters from these books, bringing them into other media. Thrawn himself appeared in the final few seasons of Star Wars: Rebels along with his hired hand Rukh. But, with the production of the sequels, the fate of The Thrawn Trilogy was sealed.
9 The Fate Of Boba Fett
As much as other fans try to deny it, there is a large assembly of Boba Fett fanatics in the Star Wars community. Although some might find him dull, while others think he's the best thing since blue milk, everyone agrees that Boba Fett had one of the worst deaths of the series. Apparently, the most skilled bounty hunter in the galaxy can be quickly taken out by a blind smuggler with a stick. Well, before Disney took control, the previous EU had saved Boba Fett from his fate in the Sarlacc Pit.
In the Dark Horse Comics series Dark Empire, it was revealed that Boba Fett had finagled his way out of the Great Pit of Carkoon. This was later translated into other media including the anthology novel Tales from Jabba's Palace as well as the Bounty Hunter Wars series. At the moment, current canon has yet to bring the Mandalorian back from the dead. Time will tell whether or not he remains to be digested for over a thousand years.
8 The Yuuzhan Vong
When it comes to additions to EU canon, the Yuuzhan Vong were certainly an acquired taste. First appearing in the book series Star Wars: The New Jedi Order, the Yuuzhan Vong were one of two species to originate outside of the galaxy. They were an invading alien force bent on the destruction of the New Republic. Based in warfare, they were a ruthless culture who destroyed countless worlds.
These beings have yet to make an appearance in the new canon, but they have not been forgotten. Dave Filoni revealed that there had been plans to introduce the group in The Clone Wars possibly, but that had fallen to the wayside with the series' eventual cancellation. But, much of the new canon has concerned itself with the foreshadowing of the outer rim and unknown regions. Perhaps the Yuuzhan Vong will get another chance.
7 The Ewok Adventures
Television is still a reasonably unexplored medium for the Star Wars franchise. Clone Wars and Rebels have been bonafide hits, but the first live-action series, The Mandalorian, will finally premiere later this year on Disney+. That being said, it is not the first ever live-action TV production for Star Wars. Looking back beyond even the Star Wars Prequels, Lucasfilm produced two made-for-TV movies focusing on everyone's favorite space bears: Ewoks. The Ewok Adventures were two children's movies almost utterly devoid of connection to the rest of the Star Wars universe. The films have grown a bit of a cult following, but very few Star Wars fans remember them fondly. Luckily, this is one of a few former canon pieces that won't be missed.
6 Shadows of the Empire
An iconic piece of former EU material was the Shadows of the Empire campaign during the 90s. To generate more interest during this dark time between films, Lucasfilm created this multimedia storytelling event that revealed what happened between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. This not only fleshed out returning film characters but gave fans some of the most beloved EU icons ever created.
Throughout books, video games, and audio dramas, Shadows of the Empire introduced two significant EU figures: Prince Xizor and Dash Rendar. Xizor was an incredibly fascinating crime lord who lead the Black Sun crime syndicate and had deep connections with Palpatine and the Empire. Rendar was a rogue who was even more flippant than Han Solo. Sadly, we the erasure of the EU, these characters have been downgraded to nothing more than legends.
5 The Original Tartakovsky Clone Wars
Before Dave Filoni gave fans his outstanding animated series, there was an even earlier animated Clone Wars show. Between the releases of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, Lucasfilm partnered with Cartoon Network and creator Genndy Tartakovsky to create a 2D animated series profiling the conflict of the Clone Wars. This series was far darker in tone, following in the footsteps of Tartakovsky's other works such as Samurai Jack.
This series introduced multiple new characters, including both Assaj Ventress and General Grievous. The show was an artistic marvel and embraced a brand new scope never seen in Star Wars. Unlike The Clone Wars series we know today, this Clone Wars lead directly into the opening scene of Revenge of the Sith, explaining how the Chancellor was captured and how Grievous suffered his respiratory condition. Although Filoni's series has become essential Star Wars viewing, Tartakovsky deserves massive praise for his work.
4 The Force Unleashed
With the upcoming release of Jedi: Fallen Order, fans are foaming at the mouth for some great Star Wars videogame content. It has been years since the franchise has released a universally beloved game, but there was a time where they would release one on an annual basis. One of the best out there and one that is seemingly a significant influence for Fallen Order was Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.
This game followed the trials of a secret apprentice of Darth Vader's during the reign of the Empire. This character would serve a similar function as the inquisitors of Star Wars: Rebels, hunting down the last of the Jedi and serving as a hand to the Sith. This game was full of incredible characters and instantly iconic visuals. Starkiller, played by beloved voice actor Sam Witwer, was one of the best anti-heroes in the entire EU. It is a shame he was unable to be salvaged post-Disney.
3 The Original Skywalker/Solo Family
A significant blow to EU fans was the loss of crucial characters tied directly to the original Star Wars trio. In Timothy Zahn's final novel of the Thrawn Trilogy, he introduced the Solo twins Jaina and Jacen. These two would become major players in the expanded universe, both in the formation of the new Jedi order, the fight against the Yuuzhan Vong, and more. Their brother, Anakin, would come along later but have just as large of a presence.
With the advent of the sequel series, this dynamic has been all but thrown away in favor of the arc with Ben Solo/Kylo Ren. Kylo's journey certainly mirrors that of Jacen who also fell to the dark side to become the sith lord Darth Caedus. But, unless Rey's parentage is reversed in this December's The Rise of Skywalker, any other semblance to the original Solo family will be erased forever.
2 Mara Jade
Maybe the most beloved character in all of the Expanded Universe, Mara Jade was a powerful figure before the Disney era. Originally the hand of the Emperor, Mara Jade was similar to a Sith inquisitor during the age of the Empire. After the destruction of the second Death Star, Mara eventually would turn to the light and marry none other than Luke Skywalker himself.
Mara was a profoundly complicated figure, but one of the first major female Jedi in Star Wars. In the Last Jedi novelization, Luke sees an alternative universe vision of himself and his wife living on Tatooine as if the original trilogy never occurred. Although she is never mentioned, this is the closest fans have gotten to Mara Jade's return in the new canon.
1 Nearly All Of Knights Of The Old Republic
Without a doubt, this is the most significant loss to the new canon. All material dealing with the Old Republic expanded the universe further than ever before. Where most other additional content focused on the less than hundred year period between The Phantom Menace and shortly after Return of the Jedi, Knights of the Old Republic was set over a thousand years previously.
That meant there were barely any narrative restrictions on the types of characters and stories being told. Knights of the Old Republic changed the way fans thought about the universe, and the ways stories were made for the franchise. Through fascinating characters and several mediums, Knights of the Old Republic expanded fan's understanding of what Star Wars could be.