5 Things the Star Wars Expanded Universe Did Right (Compared to Episode 7)

Updated on July 7, 2017
Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy hopes the Force is with him as he pursues a forensics career in the swamps of Louisiana.

Kylo Ren, Rey, and Finn from The Force Awakens
Kylo Ren, Rey, and Finn from The Force Awakens

Is The Force Awakens (Episode 7) good?

Yes. Star Wars made a triumphant reemergence in 2015, and any Star Wars fan owes it to themself to see it. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and effort clearly given to Episode 7, and look forward to the future of the series.

However, the Expanded Universe (mostly composed of novels)—which is no longer canon—created its own interpretation, over many years, of the events after Return of the Jedi. By no means perfect, the EU nevertheless did many things right—things the Force Awakens sadly lacks. Today, we'll compare and contrast five excellent aspects of Episode 7 and the newly-named Star Wars Legends timelines! Spoilers ahead for both series.

Boba Fett
Boba Fett

5. Side characters still matter

Episode 7: Characters such as Boba Fett, Lando Calrissian, Wedge Antilles and so on aren't seen or mentioned. For all intents and purposes, they don't exist. To be fair, movies only have a certain amount of screentime they can use, limiting the number of characters one film can effectively develop, but it'd still be nice to know what happened to our old favorites.

Legends: Fett, Calrissian, and even more obscure characters like Mon Mothma all play a role in the direction the galaxy heads. Does the womanizing Lando ever find the right woman to settle down with? Who was Boba Fett once married to, and why did the relationship sour? The focus of most EU stories remains on the main heroes - Luke, Han, Leia, and their kids - but old fan favorites are given plenty of development too. Fett's development in the Legacy of the Force novels remains one of my favorite Star Wars tales to this day - and he isn't even the main character of that series!

Leia as a Jedi
Leia as a Jedi

4. Leia becomes a Jedi

Episode 7: Leia, good for her, plays a big role in galactic politics, but still hasn't developed her Force abilities, despite Luke's insistence in Episode 6 that, in time, she would. Shame, since she's got incredible potential, being the offspring of Anakin Skywalker.

Legends: Leia becomes the leader of the New Republic, but eventually resigns and trains to become a competent Jedi Knight. She helps weave the relationship between Jedi and government, all while raising three children (twins Jaina and Jacen, and son Anakin). Whether through diplomacy or Jedi activity, Leia constantly helps better the galaxy.

Leia and Han
Leia and Han

3. Leia and Han actually work

Episode 7: Leia and Han are revealed as the parents of the treacherous Kylo Ren. His fall to darkness tore the family apart, causing his parents to go their separate ways. They're still shown to care for each other, but in a sort of distant, sorrowful manner.
Oh, and Han dies, so uh.. yea, even if Kylo returns to the light, the Solos will never really get to have their happy family. Leia really is Solo now (sorry, couldn't resist).

Legends: Leia and Han get married, and have three kids whom they adore. However, the couple faces numerous tragedies. Wars break out. Chewbacca meets his end. The youngest Solo child, Anakin, falls in battle. And finally, one of the twins, Jacen, ultimately turns to the dark side and dies without truly reforming. These incidents rip apart Han and Leia's hearts.. but never their love for each other. No matter what evil or despair they face, the pair stay together as husband and wife, and grow stronger though each turmoil.
As a sidenotw, Han and Luke seem much closer in Legends, considering each other best friends and family.

Luke's niece and nephew, Jaina and Jacen Solo, with the Jedi Academy on Yavin 4 in the background
Luke's niece and nephew, Jaina and Jacen Solo, with the Jedi Academy on Yavin 4 in the background

2. Luke rebuilds the Jedi

Episode 7: Thirty years have passed since Return of the Jedi. Luke Skywalker attempted to teach a new generation the ways of the Force. However, his nephew, Ben, murdered the other students and fell to the dark side. Distraught and guilt-ridden, Luke goes into exile, leaving the galaxy to fend for itself.

Legends: Luke spends a few years after Return of the Jedi further training himself and defeating the remnants of the Empire before attempting to instruct new Jedi. He faces many setbacks - struggles with learning how to teach, some students turning dark, new wars threatening the galaxy, etc. - but never gives up. Even after his nephew, Jacen Solo, turns to darkness, Luke recognizes that his new Jedi Order plays a crucial role in the galaxy, and he develops into the strongest Jedi in history.

Luke with wife Mara Jade and son Ben
Luke with wife Mara Jade and son Ben

1. Luke improves the Jedi

Episode 7: Luke's opinions and interpretations of Jedi teaching are, as of this writing, unknown. Would he only take young students, like the Jedi of the Old Republic, or would he exercise more flexibility? Due to his exile, we have little information about his current thoughts of the Jedi. Luke seems to have largely failed in doing as Yoda instructed, passing on what he has learned.

Legends: Luke recognizes that the Jedi of the Old Republic were a force (no pun intended) of good for the galaxy, but had room for improvement. For example, Luke removes the restrictive age limit for students; now adults can be taken in as new pupils. Furthermore, Luke's Jedi Order embraces rather than discourages emotion. Love and family are not only allowed, but encouraged with the new Jedi Order. Luke himself even finds a wife, Mara Jade, and the two have a son, Ben.

Many fans of the Expanded Universe, myself included, believe that Luke's policy of controlled, positive emotion is what propels the new Jedi to a greatness that the Old Republic Jedi lacked. The Luke Skywalker from the Legends timeline faced many challenges, but overcame his hurdles to improve both the galaxy and the Jedi. As much as I enjoy Episode 7, the Luke from that saga has some catching up to do.

Expanded Universe characters
Expanded Universe characters

Legacy

The Expanded Universe no longer counts as canon, but that doesn't make its stories any less real. In fact, despite the new timeline, material is still being released under the Legends banner, so fans of the EU need not despair. I like to imagine the Episode 7 timeline and the Legends events as simply two different outcomes of the galaxy. As a certain pointy-eared green Jedi once said, always in motion is the future. Star Wars fans have been gifted with numerous ways to explore the galaxy far far away, and I look forward to seeing the future of the series - canon and otherwise.
May the Force be with you!

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)