10 Star Wars Characters Established by the Expanded Universe
By Nicholas Pendergast
The Star Wars universe has an enormous backlog of contributions from video games, comic books, and novels going back to the days of Marvel comics initial Star Wars run in 1977.
Although the Expanded Universe was never established as Lucas canon, it existed as canon within its own continuity, and writers for the EU titles always worked within its established domain. The EU truly was its own universe, and up until the buy out it kept growing. Today, the EU is known by Disney as the Legends universe, however, the stories and characters remain the same.
It’s a good thing, too! The EU established some of the coolest characters in the Star Wars universe. With complex personalities and engaging story lines, the EU leaves behind enough content to enjoy for years.
Here are ten iconic characters from the Expanded Universe.
- Darth Bane
Bane was the catalyst for a major revolution in the Sith. 1,000 years before the events of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Darth Bane created the Sith Order from the ashes while simultaneously destroying the old Sith Brotherhood of Darkness. Darth Bane alone ended the war on Ruusan between the Jedi Army of Light and Sith Brotherhood of Darkness, using a dark side ritual that wiped out the entire planet’s population of Force users. Talk about epic power! His plot was simple; transform the Sith from a divisive horde of egotistic war mongers into a disciplined and very secretive cult exclusive to only the best practitioners of the dark side. The Sith Order survived on one simple rule, and that rule became known as The Rule of Two. Darth Vader and Darth Sidious were the final byproducts of that legacy, proving Bane’s methods to be almost absolutely successful.
2. Darth Zannah
Because Darth Zannah is so essential to the Bane story, she is listed along with Darth Bane. Darth Zannah was chosen as Darth Bane’s apprentice to fulfill his Rule of Two, and when the time came, Zannah was more than capable of replacing the first Dark Lord of the Sith. Zannah killed Bane in a battle on Ambria, and assumed his place in the lineage of Sith lords.
Although Darth Bane’s rule as Sith Lord is covered pretty heavily by Del Rey books’ Bane trilogy, there is much to be desired surrounding the lore of his successor.
3. Mandalore the Indomitable
There are a lot of Mandalorians who could be on this list, and perhaps when the time calls for it there ought to be a top ten list of Mandalorians, but only the greatest were afforded the title of Mandalore.
Of the Mandalorians from the Old Republic, two stand out higher than any others. Mandalore the Indomitable is the first, and his successor Mandalore the Ultimate is the second. Mandalore the Indomitable was warlord of the Mandalore Clans during the Great Sith War, and the part he played in that epic was huge. In 3996 BBY, Mandalore the Indomitable united the Mandalore Clans in an effort to seek out a foe worthy of battle. His army of Mandalorians were called Crusaders, and they began their charge by taking on a dark side cult called the Krath in the Empress Teta system. For clarity, Empress Teta is a location, not a person.
Although Mandalore the Indomitable’s initial raids were successful, he eventually prompted the response of a powerful Sith lord named Ulic Qel-Droma.
Ulic defeated Mandalore in a close battle on the Deep Core world of Kuar, but chose to keep Mandalore the Indomitable alive. Mandalore the Indomitable surrendered his Crusaders to the Sith Brotherhood, and became one of Exar Kun’s lieutenants in the Great Sith War.
4. Exar Kun
Few people who are familiar with the Legends lore will not smile just a bit at the mere mention of Exar Kun. Not only is his name very cool to say, but he was also the first Sith to use a double-bladed lightsaber, and he played a key role in the Great Sith War as the founder of the Sith Brotherhood.
Exar Kun was a young Jedi who fell to darkness because of his burning curiosity for the Sith arts. His pursuit to learn about the dark side led him to the tomb of an ancient Sith lord named Freedon Nadd on Dxun, the moon of Onderon, and within the tomb he incidentally conjured the mythical Sith lord’s spirit. Freedon Nadd’s power over the dark side was so strong, that he possessed Exar Kun, and led him to the Sith homeworld of Korriban. With each step that Kun took along Feedon Nad’s path, the promising Jedi student fell into darkness until he was eventually cut off from the light side. Freedon Nad gave Exar Kun the status of the galaxy’s ultimate boogey man, and from there the Sith were reborn.
Kun rose to become the Dark Lord of the Sith and instigated the Great Sith War with the help of some aspiring acolytes, including Ulic Qel-Droma, the Mandalorians, and the Empress Teta system’s Krath cult. Although Exar Kun nearly destroyed the Jedi and the Republic, conflicts within his ranks ended what would have been a successful invasion of Coruscant. Kun’s Sith Brotherhood was severely weakened when Ulic Qel-Droma returned to the light, and the death of the Krath cult leader Aleema Keto ended the Empress Teta systems support for Kun. Mandalore the Indomitable’s death followed shortly after, forcing an end to the Mandalorian Crusader’s pact with the Sith, basically leaving Kun without an army.
Once Exar Kun’s aspirations were all but tanked, he returned to his Massassi temple on Yavin 4 to gather some more power from the dark side, but his old buddy Ulic was onto Kun’s plan. Thousands upon thousands of Jedi led by Ulic Qel-Droma followed him there, bringing upon the Dark Lord of the Sith’s doorstep all the power in the galaxy. Certain that his death was imminent, Kun used a dark Force ritual that lifted his spirit and conscious from the body, thinking he could escape Yavin 4 and basically wander around free, however, the plan backfired. Kun’s naivety was what got him in trouble in the first place, and ultimately his foolish mishandling of the dark side bound his essence to the Massassi chamber for more than 4,000 years. Luke Skywalker and his students eventually found the temple, and banished the Dark Lord of the Sith for good.
5. Dash Rendar
Not knowing this anti-hero indicates a high probability that you never owned a N64.
Dash Rendar is the quintessential ’90s bad ass thrown into Star War’s roster of good guys. In 1996, Lucasfilm.Ltd’s mission was to create a surge of interest in Star Wars, using a fresh story in a familiar timeline, so they chose the period between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Shadows of the Empire was on every piece of media and merchandise Lucas’ budget could afford without actually making a film. A full length novel was introduced, as well as a chart topping video game which many argue was one of the best on the N64 console.
Rendar’s freelance mercenary work as a smuggler made him an ally of convenience for the Rebel Alliance. One particular mission brought him to Hoth just before the Rebel’s ill-fated battle against the Empire, and he was there while the Imperial invasion took place. Rendar succeeded in bringing down an AT-AT as a volunteer with Rogue Squadron, and helped the Rebels to evacuate. Later, Rendar was contacted by Lando Calrissian, and hired to help track down Han Solo. Dash Rendar’s mission to track Han is covered in the Shadows of the Empire novel and video game.
It’s a pretty good book.
6. Kir Kanos
You surely know about the Emperor’s Royal Guard, the elite division of bad ass mother lovers dressed all in red, whose stolid penetrating presence adds infinite amounts of cool factor to any scene where they appear. In a group of elite bodyguards, someone has to be really freaking mean to rise all the way to the top and become the last one standing.
Kir Kanos is the last one standing.
Although many members of the Royal Guard died aboard the Death Star II, Palpatine’s tendency to assign Kir Kanos around the galaxy played a part in Kir Kanos’ survival, as he was not on board when it was destroyed by the Rebel Alliance.
Following the death of the Emperor, Kir Kanos wandered the galaxy without direction for years while the Imperial Remnant sorted itself out. Eventually one of Palpatine’s clones emerged on the Deep Core world of Byss, and ol’ Sheev reconvened all of his most loyal subjects to take a second stab at conquest. This new conference of the Emperor’s chosen included his trusty bodyguard Kir Kanos, and it seemed for a while that the Royal Guard was back in business.
Emperor Palpatine’s return was short lived, however, although it was long enough to fill six-mini series Dark Horse comic book issues compiled into the Star Wars: Dark Empire arc. Naturally, Luke Skywalker came in to save the day, and struck the bastard Sheev dead once and for all with his mighty green glow stick.
Fast forward to the Crimson Empire mini-series. After the Emperor’s final defeat, Kir Kanos retreated to a Royal Guard sanctuary with the last twenty Royal Guards left in the entire galaxy. Kir Kanos discovered that Luke Skywalker was not alone, and that a man named Carnor Jax led a conspiracy on Byss to betray the Emperor to Luke, so Kanos made a blood oath with the other twenty guards to kill everyone who put them on the unemployment line permanently. Unfortunately for Kanos and his friends, the last remnants of the Royal Guard were surrounded by a legion of Stormtroopers loyal to Carnor Jax’s faction. The Royal Guard fought off their attackers valiantly, but were eventually overwhelmed, leaving Kir Kanos the sole survivor.
Ultimately, Kir Kanos fulfills part of the blood oath, killing Jax in an epic battle on Yinchorr.
7. Kyle Katarn
Disney is going to be doing some very serious retcon if they ever choose to move this guy out of the Legends roster. For starters, he was introduced as the guy who stole the plans for the first Death Star from an Imperial base on Danuta, eventually turning them over to Princess Leia.
Scrap that idea forever. Thankfully, Disney brought some of the essence of Katarn out with Cassian Andor, so we can at least appreciate that much.
Aside from being the first rogue to steal the Death Star plans, Kyle Katarn took on the Empire’s Dark Trooper project with the help of his partner Jan Ors in the 1995 PC/PSX game Star Wars: Dark Forces.
Kyle Katarn made so many people over at Lucasarts happy with the success of Dark Forces, that they made him a sequel and bumped his status up from lone rogue to Force sensitive in the events of Star Wars: Dark Forces II. The plot of Dark Forces II takes place one year after the Battle of Endor, when Luke Skywalker is piecing together his New Order, and the Emperor’s most powerful subjects are carving fiefdoms of their own out of the galaxy. Kyle Katarn became involved in the power grab of one Dark Jedi, an Inquisitor named Jeric on Ruusan, who is revealed to be the man who struck down Katarn’s father. Oh, how Lucas loves to go with the kid who avenges daddy. Kyle defeats Jeric in an epic battle on Ruusan in the Valley of the Jedi, and moves on to become a Jedi Knight in the New Order.
Katarn is often analogously considered the Chuck Norris of the Star Wars universe. I guess one could say, Disney doesn’t allow Kyle Katarn into their timeline, Kyle simply chooses not to enter it.
8. Darth Revan
The whole entire arc of The Old Republic franchise is centered around this guy. Revan flips between protagonist and antagonist so many times, that you would think his moral compass is as versatile as a fashionista’s wardrobe. I guess you could say he has an ego the size of a dreadnaught, but when you’re wearing the mask of a dead Mandalorian warlord into battle everywhere you go, you can kind of get away with whatever you want.
Revan started off as a Jedi, like many Sith lords tend to do, and fell to darkness in a great war. After crushing the Mandalorians, he becomes the figurehead of a Sith rebellion that nearly crushed the Jedi, then returns to the light. You can experience this man’s rise in about 50 hours of gameplay thanks to Bioware’s iconic Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
Not long after the events of the Great Sith War, Mandalore the Indomitable’s (remember him) successor Mandalore the Ultimate took control of the clans and promised victories against the Republic. The Crusaders were really pissed about coming so close to taking Coruscant, only to be sabotaged by the internal meddling of the Sith Brotherhood. Thirsty for vengeance and blood, Mandalore the Ultimate delivered the Mandalorians from defeat with several successful raids against Outer Rim worlds. The Republic was at a breaking point at the time, and their military campaign failed to do any justice against Mandalore’s brutal onslaught. The Jedi Council were no better than the Republic, and could not decide on a plan to stop the Mandalorians. One Jedi knew that the fate of the galaxy was at stake, and that Jedi was Revan. He defied the ineptitude of the Jedi Council, and formed his own army of Jedi Knights called Revanchists. The Revanchists consisted of hundreds who followed Revan into the Outer Rim, and they fought a bloody series of battles called the Mandalorian Wars.
Four years after the war began, Revan and his followers defeated the Mandalorians on Malachor V, however, the victory came with a terrible price. Most of the Revanchists, including Revan and his apprentice Malek, fell to the dark side.
The events of Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic would follow, and that’s a pretty good game, so you should probably play it if you haven’t already. I mean it’s only the greatest game of all time.
9. Jaina Solo
Meet Han and Leia’s daughter. Yeah, she’s pretty cool, she’s an extremely powerful Force user who was trained by Luke Skywalker to become a Jedi Knight. Rey can thank her later.
Although Jaina was somewhat overshadowed by her twin brother Jacen Solo during the New Jedi Order saga, her brother’s turn to the dark side of the Force left Jaina with a lot on her plate. Jaina’s youngest brother Anakin was already dead from the Yuuzohn Vong invasion, and her twin brother basically went nuts and plunged the Galactic Alliance into a reign of terror as Darth Caedus.
Not a bad litter, Han.
It’s okay, the Expanded Universes’s resident heroine Mara Jade will handle the evil twin — — and nope, looks like that won’t work, Caedus plunged a lightsaber through Luke Skywalker’s wife, and now Luke is too messed up to even consider payback. However, Jaina is the Sword of the Jedi, and that has to count for something.
Jaina wasn’t only an accomplished warrior with a lightsaber, but she was also a really good pilot and one of the best in the Galactic Alliance. In fact, she could be compared to her grandfather as far as talent goes. She was impressive enough behind the cockpit to eventually become the commander of Rogue Squadron, so that has to count for something.
Surviving the Yuuzohn Vong War was no easy task, but becoming the Sword of the Jedi was much harder. Jaina had to distance herself from friends and loved ones just to train hard enough to kill her last sibling. Eventually, she turned to Boba Fett for guidance, and he helped to train her in some of the Mandalorian’s tactics for hunting down Force users.
After several attempts to stop her brother Darth Caedus, Jaina finally nails him in an epic battle that costs Caedus his life aboard his own flagship the Anakin Solo. Jaina embraces Caedus as he slips into death and returns to the Force as Jacen Solo, leaving Jaina the sole remaining heir of the Skywalker line.
Jaina is the centerpiece of the Fate of the Jedi and Legacy of the Force book series. You can find them all over the place in bookstores across America.
At the height of the Galactic Civil War, there were only two people in the galaxy who held more power than the Falleen Prince of House Sizhran.
Although technically not affiliated with the Empire’s political or military hierarchy, Xizor was the leader of the Black Sun crime family. From his base of operations on Coruscant, he governed and manipulated the galaxies largest criminal organization. Jabba the Hutt may have been big time in the Outer Rim, but Xizor’s influence and reach was considerably greater in comparison. Through several legitimate fronts, including one of the largest transportation and shipping conglomerates in the galaxy, Xizor funneled funds to consolidate his power.
Aside from his ruthless competition with rival gangs, Xizor had a personal vendetta with Darth Vader. Seven years before the Battle of Yavin, Xizor’s home city was wiped out by the Sith lord, who ordered it to be razed in order to prevent an outbreak from an Imperial biological weapons project gone wrong. Xizor’s family died during the massacre, cementing a hatred for Darth Vader for the rest of Xizor’s life.
Xizor became involved in the events of Shadows of the Empire and served as one of the story’s main antagonists. His rivalry with Vader boiled to a head when Xizor learned of Luke Skywalker’s relation to the Sith lord, and in order to crush Vader the Falleen devised a plot to assassinate Luke.
Xizor posted several bounties on Skywalker through his intermediaries, and eventually cornered the Jedi Knight on Tatooine. Luke, Dash Rendar, and Kimmi Chyler fought off the Falleen Prince and his android assassin Guri, however, that was not the last confrontation they would have in Shadows of the Empire.
Vader eventually discovered Xizor’s plot to kill his son, and destroyed Prince Xizor’s skyhook over Coruscant while the Falleen was on board.
Don’t meddle in the affairs of a Sith lord. That is the lesson.