Love it or hate it, the Disney era of Star Wars is in full swing. New stories and projects seem to get announced every day, and more are sure to come in the future. Fans are eager to see what the galaxy will be like after The Rise Of Skywalker finishes up the new sequel trilogy, but some of those same fans mourn for what’s been lost. Before Disney bought the franchise, the so-called Star Wars Expanded Universe had been running concurrent to the movies for over 25 years. Whole sagas and characters existed that casual fans had never heard of. And some of them got weird…
One thing even the most ardent haters can’t deny is the consistent quality of the new canon under Disney. There hasn’t yet been a bizarre stinker of a book or comic like there often was in the days of the old Expanded Universe (or EU as we’ll call it). George Lucas didn’t police the writers much, so things could get crazy at times, but for every wacky, nonsensical story of what Disney has now branded Star Wars Legends, there were some genuine cool ideas and concepts that could have been explored. Not everything Star Wars lost in the transition was junk.
The common denominator of this list is being non-canon. Whether good or bad, all these stories were wiped out by the Disney purchase. They are the best and worst— mostly worst— of the old EU.
These are 30 Star Wars Storylines Disney Wants Everyone To Forget.
30 George Lucas’ Sequel Trilogy
George Lucas selling Star Wars to Disney and the announcement of the Sequel Trilogy was the biggest Star Wars news in a long time, but before he made the sale, Lucas had been preparing a sequel trilogy of his own. Speaking to James Cameron, Lucas said his sequels would have been about microscopic organisms called Whills.
Yep, he was doubling down on Midi-chlorians. These Whills fed off the Force and used it to control the galaxy and steer people’s destinies. Lucas admitted fans would have hated it, but it’s still interesting to think about what might have been.
29 Level 1313
Many projects in development at Lucasfilm were cancelled following the Disney acquisition. The one that hit Star Wars fans hardest at the time was cancelling Star Wars: 1313, an upcoming video game. The story would have followed a young Boba Fett establishing himself as a bounty hunter in Coruscant’s notorious Level 1313.
Promised as a gritty and mature experience, with no Jedi or Force powers, fans were hyped. A stunning reveal trailer at E3 2012 caught gamers’ attention, but alas, Disney dissolved LucasArts and the game was cancelled. Though elements from it have been used in other Star Wars stories.
28 The Underworld TV Show
We may be getting The Mandalorian soon, but a live-action Star Wars TV show has been in the works for a while. Back in 2005, George Lucas began developing a series called Star Wars: Underworld. Set in the seedy criminal underbelly of Coruscant, it would have been a darker story than usual. Producers described it as “Deadwood in space”.
Hundreds of scripts were written, but money concerns kept it from moving forward. Lucas couldn’t film the needed effects on the tight TV budgets. It wasn’t for naught though; Disney adapted many of the scripts for new Star Wars projects.
27 Palpatine’s Clones
A problem many writers of the old EU faced was creating villains who could match Vader and Palpatine. Sometimes they didn’t even try. In the Dark Empire comics, Palpatine mysteriously came back to life. How? Clones. He reveals to Luke that for years he’s been transferring his mind into younger clone bodies to become immortal.
Palpatine’s only problem is that he’s so corrupted by the Dark Side that the clones are degrading faster and faster. So he turns Luke to the Dark Side to help him solve this issue, by putting Palpatine’s soul into Princess Leia’s unborn child. Yes really.
26 The Yuuzhan Vong
By 1999, the EU had a problem. All their bad guys were either Sith or Imperial Warlords. So the writers created new villains, alien invaders from another galaxy called the Yuuzhan Vong. And they were metal as heck. Basically Star Trek’s Klingons mixed with Hellraiser’s Cenobites.
They worshiped pain, were immune to the Force, and fought with strange organic technology. The Yuuzhan Vong’s first appearance got many fans excited about the new storyline, but after dragging on for 14 books, they quickly got tired. They were almost included in the Clone Wars animated series before the Disney Purchase.
25 Jaxxon The Green Space Rabbit
The early days of Star Wars Legends were wild. With only the original movie to go off of, the EU of the 70s and 80s was unrestrained compared to now. Case in point was stuff like Han Solo’s friend Jaxxon, the giant green space rabbit.
Created for the Marvel Star Wars comics, Jaxxon was a smuggler and pilot Han hired to help defend the planet Aduba-3 from pirates. He was a joke character, meant as nothing more than a Bugs Bunny reference, but because of his inherent goofiness, some creators took a shine to Jaxxon. He’s made cameos ever since.
24 Star Wars: Legacy
After a while, the Star Wars galaxy’s future after Episode VI seemed mapped out. To tell new stories, things would have go further. Enter Star Wars: Legacy. Set 150 years after the movies, the story was set during a war between a new, benevolent Empire and a new Sith Order.
The main character was Luke’s descendant, Cade Skywalker, who abandoned the Jedi after the Sith destroyed his home. The time-jump made Legacy’s setting a refreshing change and the story’s moral ambiguity made it a hit with Star Wars fans. A follow-up failed to connect and the series ended.
23 General Grievous’ Original Backstory
In some cases, Disney hasn’t totally erased older Legends stories. Sometimes it’s just altered them to fit better into the new canon. General Grievous’ backstory is one such case. Originally, he was a Kaleesh warlord fighting to free his people from slavery, but Count Dooku caused the accident that ravaged his body, forcing Grievous to become a cyborg.
In the new canon though, Grievous was already a legbreaker for the Separatists and his accident was a real accident. He even willingly became a cyborg to improve his combat skills. Given what a monster he is, the new version fits.
22 The Ewoks Cartoon
It seems the sillier elements of Star Wars come from the more child-friendly stories. The Ewoks cartoon certainly makes that case. This two-season animated series from the mid-80s followed the adventures of the same brave teddy-bear aliens from Episode VI, but aside from that, the show was barely connected at all.
The tone and stories were fantastical, more Gummy Bears than Star Wars. There was a living, crying mountain called Mt. Sorrow and a witch menacing the Ewoks. If not for an Imperial captain villain and his Star Destroyer, you might not even know it was Star Wars.
21 The Ewoks TV Movies
For some reason, the Ewoks were always the focus of Star Wars spin-offs back in the 80s. The most successful of these were probably the two Ewok TV movies. The first, Caravan of Courage, was about two human kids stranded on the forest moon of Endor and the Ewoks helping them find their parents. Along the way, they encounter the Gorax, a giant monster that eats Ewoks.
Despite poor reviews, the movie was successful enough to get a sequel. Battle for Endor was released the following year and starred Wilford Brimley of all people. No home video release is planned.
20 The Sun Crusher
If you were someone who hated Starkiller Base, then boy do not look at Legends. The Old EU was littered with ridiculous super-weapons. Of them all, the Sun Crusher was probably the most infamous. Though the size of a starfighter, it was more powerful than the Death Star and almost indestructible.
So how did it crush suns? Well, it had special torpedoes that caused a star to go supernova, destroying its solar system. The Sun Crusher only showed up a few times, stolen by one of Luke’s Jedi students influenced by a Sith Lord’s ghost, but that was enough.
19 Zombie Stormtroopers
Zombies were a big fad in the mid-2000s. So big that even Star Wars tried getting in on the action. Released in 2009, the book Death Troopers is almost like a Resident Evil game set in the Star Wars Galaxy. A prison starship comes across an abandoned Star Destroyer and boards it for repairs. Lo and behold, they find the stormtroopers on board have become zombies.
How? Same way as always, a supervirus, but this time it’s a Sith supervirus. Spooky. Death Troopers was successful enough to spawn a prequel, but by then the zombie craze was on the wane.
18 The Demise Of Chewbacca
After the first decade of its existence, the EU novels needed to shake things up going into the new Millennium. The writers planned a huge new storyline about the Yuuzhan Vong invading the galaxy and wanted to kick it off in a major way. So they decided to end a major character’s life. At the end of Vector Prime, first book in the new series, Chewbacca sacrificed himself.
The bad guys dropped a moon on top of him. This was huge because a major character from the movies had never perished before. Ironically, Chewie would outlive others in the new canon.
17 Han Solo’s Son Becomes A Sith Lord
This story is funny because it happened in both the new and old canon. Most people are familiar with Kylo Ren AKA Ben Solo and his deal by now, but Han’s Legends son, Jacen Solo, also fell to the Dark Side. He even got a Sith title, Darth Caedus.
It’s actually weird how much the two have in common. Both were gripped to the Dark Side, both turned their backs on their family, and both tried taking over the galaxy, but Caedus was defeated by his twin sister. Unless there’s a surprise with Rey, that probably won’t happen with Kylo.
16 Waru The Force Blob
Oh boy, this one’s a doozy. Waru is the villain of The Crystal Star, widely considered the worst Legends novel. And yes, he is a gold blob made of Force energy. Waru is from another dimension and he was pulled through to the Star Wars dimension by a star turning into a crystal.
To get home, Waru has to absorb Force power from people by eating them. To do this, he starts a cult on a derelict space station, takes Leia’s children, and tries to hypnotize Luke Skywalker into letting Waru eat him. Needless to say, this doesn’t work.
15 Luke Falls In Love With A Spaceship
Luke Skywalker has not had the best luck with love. Dude did kiss his sister by accident, but things got even weirder for him in the book Children of the Jedi. There, Luke and some of his Jedi students were stranded on an old Imperial Dreadnaught. The Jedi Master discovered the spirit of another Jedi, Callista Ming, embedded in the ship’s computer.
After rescuing him, Luke and Callista began to fall in love. So yeah, Luke fell in love with a Jedi Ghost in a spaceship. If that wasn't weird enough, Callista later took over one of Luke’s student’s bodies.
14 Darth Vader’s Secret Apprentice
Darth Vader actually had a few secret apprentices in Legends, but the one most people know is Starkiller from The Force Unleashed video games. Born Galen Marek, he was actually the son of a Jedi Vader slew and the Dark Lord raised him in secret. The main reason Starkiller has fallen by the wayside is that he was way overpowered for a Force user.
Starkiller was to Jedi what Goku is to Saiyans. Plus, his helping found the Rebel Alliance felt somewhat fanfic-ish. Starkiller’s voice actor, Sam Witwer, still works with Star Wars as the voice of Darth Maul.
13 Abeloth, Or Star Wars Cthulhu
Abeloth holds the distinction of being the last major antagonist of Star Wars Legends. She’s also one of the most unique. An ancient Force being, related to the Force Gods of Mortis, she was banished to a black hole millennia before the movies, but upon awakening in the future, Abeloth wasted no time.
She drove Luke’s Jedi students mad, took over a lost tribe of Sith, and possessed the leader of the Galactic government. She was nearly immortal too, able to move her spirit from one body to another. Even after defeating her, Luke wasn’t certain she was gone.
12 IG-88 Becomes The Death Star
Here’s a fun little story from Tales of the Bounty Hunters. IG-88, the droid bounty hunter from Empire Strikes Back, is a droid supremacist. He believes Droid life is superior to organic life and should rule the galaxy. So while being interviewed by Darth Vader, he hacked the Sith Lord’s files and learned about the second Death Star.
IG-88 realized this would be the perfect weapon. Through some shenanigans, he transferred his brain onto the Death Star’s computer and took control of the station. , but once IG-88 was ready to launch his uprising, the Rebels attacked and destroyed the station.
11 The Old Republic
Knights of the Old Republic, besides being a great game, really made the distant past of Star Wars a fan favorite setting. An ongoing comic and novel series helped flesh out the time period, and the MMO only expanded on that, but for those same fans, the Disney Purchase has been a disappointment.
KOTOR is non-canon and the Old Republic time period is a mystery again. Anything set before The Phantom Menace has yet to be written, but there is hope yet. Elements of KOTOR like Hammerhead ships, certain planets, and even Darth Revan have been creeping back into canon.
10 The Emperor’s Hand (And Luke’s Wife)
It has to be awkward when your future spouse tries to end your life. Luke Skywalker should know, his eventual love interest started out as his sworn enemy. Her name was Mara Jade and in the book Heir to the Empire, we learned she worked for Palpatine.
She was the Emperor’s Hand, his personal Force-wielding assassin. His last command to Mara before he perished was to eliminate Luke Skywalker. She tried to, but circumstances forced them to work together. After a while, they fell in love, got married, and had a son. Mara became a Jedi and they were happy.
9 The Glove Of Darth Vader
As a story, The Glove of Darth Vader is nuts. The main plot centers on the Emperor’s illegitimate son, Trioculus— named such because he has three eyes see— trying to find Darth Vader’s right glove. You know, from the hand Luke cut off. Trioculus seems to believe that the glove is magic and the source of Vader’s powers.
Also, a Dark Side prophet has foretold that the Emperor’s heir will appear wearing it. This all leads to a treasure hunt for the glove. Which fell into a wormhole when the Death Star exploded by the way. Wouldn’t Vader’s hand still be in it?
8 Skippy The Jedi Droid
This story was never canon, but it’s really fun. Remember that red astromech droid in A New Hope; the one that explodes after Luke’s uncle buys it? Well that droid could use the Force. He’s the only droid in the entire Star Wars Galaxy that could. He taught himself, using his abilities to get himself out of scrapes.
Eventually he wound up at Luke’s house. Skippy the Jedi droid saw a Force vision of the future and blew his own motivator to connect Luke with R2-D2. The story was always a joke, but lived on as an in-universe legend.
7 Star Wars: The Epic Continues
Star Wars as a franchise seemed over after Return of the Jedi’s 1983 release, but toymaker Kenner still wanted to make money off the successful license. So without a new movie, they just came up with their own story for the toyline. Kenner called it Star Wars: The Epic Continues.
With no Vader or Palpatine, the Rebels battled warlord Atha Prime and his clone warriors from before the Empire, but the Empire was still around too, led by a Grand Moff Tarkin who somehow survived the Death Star explosion. Prototype toys were made, but Lucasfilm ultimately passed on the idea.
6 Boba Fett’s Many Resurrections
So far, the new canon seems less enamored with Boba Fett than the old canon was. It’s the only explanation for how the bounty hunter escaped the Sarlacc Pit so many times. Seriously, there were like three different escapes.
The first time he fought his way out, he got amnesia and was taken by Jawas who thought he was a droid only to wind up falling into the Sarlacc again. Then in another story, he set off a grenade in the Sarlacc and clawed his way out, covered in acidic burns, to be rescued by fellow bounty hunter Dengar.
5 Star Wars: Infinities
People are always going to wonder “what if?” Much like DC Comics’ Elseworlds stories, that was the question the Star Wars: Infinities comics looked to answer. Each of the Original Trilogy movies got an alternate universe retelling. Star Wars as we knew it was changed.
The Death Star wasn’t destroyed. Leia fell to the Dark Side. Luke froze on Hoth. Han escaped from Boba Fett and paid off Jabba. And the most memorable image of the series, Darth Vader defects from the Empire and gets an all-white version of his armor. Infinities were fun what ifs, but never canon.
4 Darth Vader’s Rival, Prince Xizor
Shadows of the Empire was an interesting attempt to tell a big Star Wars story without a movie. Set between Episodes V and VI, one of the main plots was about the rivalry between Darth Vader and the alien Prince Xizor. Head of the Black Sun criminal syndicate, Xizor was everything Vader wasn’t.
Manipulative, strategic, and even rather charming, they both jockeyed for influence with the Emperor. Xizor also held a hidden hatred for Vader. The Sith Lord ordered the Prince’s planet destroyed in the past. He was a very different kind of Star Wars antagonist, one of a kind.
3 The Original Death Star Plans Theft
Thanks to Rogue One, we all know how the Death Star plans were stolen in the new canon, but the story was way different back in Legends. In the old canon, the Death Star plans were actually in pieces, so the Rebels had to steal each of them individually.
Kyle Katarn, a former stormtrooper and Imperial defector carried out the majority of the stealing. Katarn traveled to the planet Danuta, where Death Star designer Bev Lemelisk was putting all the pieces together, and swiped the data. All this played out in the Star Wars: Dark Forces PC game.
2 The Zillo Beast
The Clone Wars animated series was good at wrapping up ongoing stories. Cliffhangers were rare, except for this one. In a memorable two-episode Godzilla homage, a kaiju called the Zillo Beast was captured and brought to Coruscant. The Republic hoped to make it a weapon, but like all giant monsters, it escaped and went on a rampage.
Creators joked that it sensed Palpatine was evil. The Jedi were forced the end the beast’s life, but Palpatine wasn’t quick to give up. He ordered that a clone be made from the corpse. No clone ever appeared though, even in other animated series.
1 Star Wars: Detours
Remember when Family Guy and Robot Chicken did Star Wars parodies? Ever wonder what an official version from Lucasfilm would look like? Because that’s what Star Wars: Detours would have been. Produced by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich, the same guys who created Robot Chicken, it was going to be an animated comedy poking fun at the sillier aspects of the franchise.
George Lucas himself proposed the project to introduce new fans to the series. Though over half the episodes were completed, Disney shelved Detours as they prepared The Force Awakens. They’ve shown no signs of releasing it any time soon.