Welcome to Top 10. In this series, I will pick a subject in Star Wars and pick my top 10 rankings within that category. The rankings are heavily weighted towards my favourites, but will also take into account their impact on the story or the overall canon. Today I will be going through my Top 10 characters I’d love to see transfer from Legends to canon.
Though it may not be something that I have delved into much myself due to having no idea where to start, the Legends canon of Star Wars is something that many people still cling to dearly. The original expanded universe covered events from over 25,000 years before the Original Trilogy right up to 140 years after A New Hope and was seen to have varying levels of canonicity. For this reason, I have really appreciated the decision to create an entirely new canon following Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm, one that will fully tie in moving forwards, though I completely understand why many fans of Legends will be disappointed.
Over the years though, we have seen a trickle of content from Legends adapted into the new canon, such as planets and characters. Probably the most notable has been the arrival of Grand Admiral Thrawn, who appeared in season 3 of Rebels as the main antagonist for the last 2 seasons, while the character’s original creator Timothy Zahn has penned a new series of novels following the character in canon: Thrawn, Thrawn: Alliances and the upcoming Thrawn: Treason.
Thrawn is a character I have really enjoyed since he came into the new canon, despite having never experienced him in my limited perusals of Legends. This got me thinking what other characters I would love to see adapted into the current canon. Some characters on this list may already be a part of the canon, but have only appeared quickly or been mentioned, without any real knowledge of this story. I also appreciate that the new canon may not be able to directly adapt the character, but have to change their story or their placement within the story, similar to how Thrawn has appeared during the Galactic Civil War in canon, but was most famous in Legends for his actions 5 years after Return of the Jedi. There are some characters who have not made this list despite me enjoying them – such as Galen Marek and Jacen, Jaina and Anakin Solo – as they would have to be so heavily changed to adapt to canon, everything about them would be different.
Who makes your top 10?
10: Exar Kun
One of the few Legends stories that I have read was Kevin J. Anderson’s Jedi Academy trilogy, which I loved and thoroughly enjoyed. This trilogy included Luke beginning to train a new order of Jedi on Yavin 4, but one of his students being corrupted by the spirit of the former Sith Lord. While one opportunity to do this in Rebels has passed, we currently have limited stories involving Luke between the Original Trilogy and the Sequel Trilogy, so Exar Kun’s spirit could still make a return wherever he begins to teach his students.
9: Gilad Pellaeon
An officer in the Imperial Navy, Pallaeon was a key part of the Imperial Remnant and a right-hand man to Thrawn, acting like Watson to Thrawn’s Sherlock Holmes. In canon, this role was largely filled by Eli Vanto in the original Thrawn novel, but Pellaeon was mentioned by name in the finale of Rebels as being part of the Imperial blockade of Lothal which the purrgil broke through. With Eli Vanto now with the Chiss Ascendency, I would not be surprised to see him return in Thrawn: Treason or any later novels.
I was a huge fan of the original The Force Unleashed video game and while I don’t think that Starkiller himself would be able to return to canon, I think that his training droid PROXY would be able to. Starkiller’s best friend, he was a training droid with advanced hologram technology that would allow him to take on the form of any humanoid figure in his databases, while he could also mimic movement patters to spar with Starkiller using different Jedi’s fighting styles. Though the character himself may not be adapted for canon, the style of droid could be possible in some form of training role post-Sequel Trilogy.
7: Queen Apailana
The Queen of Naboo at the end of the Clone Wars, in Legends Apailana harboured Jedi fugitives on Naboo, which led to the 501st Legion attacking the planet and assassinating her – as shown in the campaign of the original Star Wars Battlefront II. In canon, her only appearance has been at Padmé’s funeral, however Battlefront: Twilight Company included a gunship called Apailana’s Promise in the service of the Rebellion, while Quarsh Panaka became a Moff and governor of the sector, while the Queen of Naboo’s role became largely ceremonial. It would not take much to adapt the story of Apailana’s harbouring of Jedi and subsequent assassination into canon.
6: Delta Squad
A squad of 4 clone commandos – “Boss”, “Fixer”, “Scorch” and “Sev” – from the video game Republic Commando and subsequent series of books, they appeared in 1 scene of The Clone Wars, making their names and designation of Delta Squad canon, but there is nothing beyond this. Though the TV series has covered the war pretty extensively and I don’t expect them to appear in the upcoming new series, it would be easy enough to create a similar series of novels looking at Delta Squad through the last days of the Clone Wars and into the time of the Empire, while it could also tie into other media by including cameos from other clones we know from the show.
5: Prince Xisor
A Falleen prince and the leader of Black Sun, Xisor was one of the most influential beings in the galaxy during the Battle of Hoth, assisted the Empire while conspiring against Vader and even attempted to court Leia. With Black Sun already established in the canon as being run by Falleen and very little content between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, it would be possible to add in some stories, even if the character himself was changed but he remained as head of Black Sun. Likewise, if anything carries on from Solo: A Star Wars Story looking at the criminal underworld – whether following Han & Chewie or Maul and Qi’ra – then Xisor could be easily introduced here.
I could have included any of the lead characters from the Knights of the Old Republic game, but Revan is by far the most popular to make a return to canon, and almost did in the Mortis arc of The Clone Wars. A Jedi who turned to the dark side but returned to the light, I do not want to go into too much detail here as recent reports suggest that we will be seeing his story in the coming years as a script is being penned for a film adaptation of the game.
3: Mara Jade
Another fan-favourite, Mara Jade was the Emperor’s Hand – a servant and assassin to do his bidding. Following Palpatine’s death, she became a smuggler, however her abilities with the Force led to her joining the New Jedi Order, while she also became Luke’s wife. While her identity as Luke’s wife looks all-but impossible in the new canon, she could return as a servant for Palpatine working in the Unknown Regions as the Aftermath trilogy has shown that this was an area of focus for him. From here, she could run into Luke while he is travelling the galaxy to create a new order of Jedi, or she could become Snoke’s apprentice – The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary states that he has had at least 1 other apprentice.
2: Darth Plagueis
So far all we really know of Plagueis in canon is what Palpatine reveals during Revenge of the Sith, though he is mentioned in Tarkin, where it is confirmed that Plagueis was Palpatine’s master. James Luceno’s Legends novel Darth Plagueis is a book that I have heard great reviews of and it would be great to see a canon adaptation, as this allows us to also see more of Palpatine’s history and scheming.
1: Darth Bane
His spirit was cut from the Mortis arc of The Clone Wars but appeared in the season 6 episode “Sacrifice”. Darth Bane was the creator of the Rule of Two approximately 1000 years before the Prequel Trilogy. Drew Karpyshyn’s Darth Bane Trilogy is one of the few Legends series I own and while some of it seems a little far-fetched – most notably the thought bomb – I think that the story of Bane turning against the Sith and creating the Rule of Two would make an amazing TV series and probably some of the darkest stories in canon.
Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you…