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Here’s our list of the 20 best characters in the Star Wars Expanded Universe (pre-Disney)

March 8th, 2018 by Ciaran McElherron Comments

So, before Disney took over the Star Wars franchise, it was a massive spiralling universe of books, games, toys and more, with a rich tapestry of characters outside of the main movies, who became a big part of the fandom and even, in many cases, became more Star Wars that the movies.

Some of these characters crossed over… Thrawn and Ventress for example who became massive parts of Rebels and Clone Wars respectively. However, the Expanded Universe became Star Wars Legends, a sort of parallel universe that no longer has a place in the core story with Disney even going so far as to build a new EU with their new line of books, games etc.

But the term gone but not forgotten is of utmost importance here… while they may not officially count anymore, they still hold a big room in our hearts.

Here’s our favourite characters from the Star Wars EU that was.

Honourable Mentions:

Tahiri was a young member of the New Jedi Order fighting against the Yuuzhan Vong and later a sith apprentice under Darth Caedus, she was raised by Tusken raider on Tatooine after her parents died, shaped by Vong shapers to be a Vong/Jedi hybrid.

Tahiri was a member of the ill-fated Jedi strike team on the mission to Myrkr (more on that later) to wipe out the Jedi hunting Voxyn. Strong in the force, she was a powerful fighter but was unfortunately damaged by the Vong and the loss of her 1st love Vela was involved in one way or another in many major events of the old expanded universe.

Heir and eventual leader of the Hapes Consortum collection of planets and part witch of Dathomir, Tenel Ka Djo was a powerful Jedi… even after losing an arm as an apprentice in a training accident.

Tenel Ka fought in the Yuuzhan Vong war using her lightsaber that had a hilt made from the tooth of a Rancor. Mother to Jacen Solo’s daughter and a major player in galactic politics, Tenel Ka was smart, strong, brave and a great leader.

Smuggler, information broker and all round shifty guy, Talon Karrde was able to pick up the pieces of the underworld when Jabba the Hutt was killed.

Karrde was involved with both sides in the galactic civil war and helped bring the revived smugglers alliance in to help fight the Yuuzhan Vong. Karrd proved himself a friend to the Jedi.

The first apprentice of Darth Bane under the newly initiated Rule of Two, Zannah was a Jedi Padawan during the battle of Ruusan, after seeing her friend/pet murdered by some Jedi scouts, Zannah snapped, gave in to the dark side and killed the Jedi before being found by the newly minted Lord of the Sith Darth Bane.

Zannah used a double-bladed lightsaber and was a potent Sith Sorceress. As is the way of the Sith, Zannah eventually killed her master, took her own apprentice and continued on as the Dark Lord of the Sith whose lineage was passed down and generations later took over the galaxy in the form of The Emperor

Arrogant, brash, egotistical and so flamboyant he wore a cape, to say Ganner Rysode believed in his own legend is an understatement.

He followed Kyp Durron’s rebelliously aggressive faction within the Jedi and during the Yuuzhan Vong war Ganner took the fight to his enemies in order to write his legend on galactic history.

Scarred and humbled in a fight with the Vong, Ganner became obsessed with finding the missing Jacen Solo; eventually tracking him down, Ganner was captured by the Vong and taken to the Well of the World Brain and while Jacen sabotaged the World Brain, Ganner single- handly took on hundreds of Vong warriors, sacrificing himself and joining the force.

Ganner’s last stand lead to him finally becoming a legend all-be-it amongst the Vong warrior cast who held him up as the invincible epic warrior ‘The Ganner’.

Top 15 Legends Expanded Universe Characters

Space Cop, Member of the infamous Rogue Squadron and Jedi Master, Horn was the first character of have a POV book (I, Jedi).

Corran Horn joined Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Academy on Yavin 4 as one of the first set of students trained by Luke. He really came to prominence during the Yuuzhan Vong war where he was the first Jedi to defeat a Vong commander, Shedao Shai, in single combat for the fate of Ithor.

Corran was crucial to the Jedi, defeating the Vong and raised to the Jedi council where he remains to this day.  Corran Horn was a tenacious fighter, a legendary fighter pilot, a specialist in investigations and a top-level diplomate who was once temporarily Grand Master of the Jedi Order in Luke’s absence.

Verger was a Fosh, a bird like sentient race, who was a Jedi knight around the same time as Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker, who eventually turned Sith and spent a considerable time with the Yuuzhan Vong before they invaded the galaxy.

Vergere was tasked with torturing Jacen Solo after his capture by the Vong to help their attempts to create a Jedi Vong hybrid as a propaganda tool during the war.  Vegere eventually returned to the light side of the Force by sacrificing herself and killing many Vong to save Solo’s life – not unselfishly as she had bigger plans for Jacen.

As with other Fosh, Vergere could manipulate her tears to produce antidotes, poisons and potions: one such potion was used to save the life of Mara Jade Skywalker.  Vergere could use the exceptionally rare Sever Force power to cut people off from the Force.

Vergere was a master manipulator and used the paradoxical phrase “Everything I tell you is a lie” to help train Darth Ceadus.

Tsavong Lah was the warmaster of the Yuuzhan Vong during the Vong war; A professional warrior, Lah was raised to fight from birth.

He was instrumental in the destruction of Ithor and the battle of Duro and after a defeat at the hands of Jacen Solo, Lah called for a galaxy-wide genocide against all Force-sensitive beings.  His single-minded vendetta against Solo caused the Vong many defeats in the war, the most important of which was at the last and most decisive battle of Ebaq 9.

Lah over-committed the Vong forces and was ambushed and routed by the New Republic forces. As with all proud warriors, Lah chose to lead from the front and went with his warriors into battle against the Jedi.

Lah was eventually vanquished during a duel with Jania Solo.

Tsavong Lah was one of the most modified of the Vong as he had a living cape attached to his back, multiple facial and bodily scars, living armour attached to his bones and, after losing an arm in a battle, he had a claw attached.

Jedi Knight, Jedi Master, Member of the Jedi High Council, Acting Jedi Grandmaster, Leia Skywalker-Solo Master and, lest we forget, a bloody big scary lizard, Saba Sebatyne is a female Barabel who fought against the Yuuzhan Vong but was most prominent during the Dark Nest Crisis as this was the time that she was Leia’s Jedi Master.

During the second Galactic Civil War, Seba was one of Luke Skywalker’s most trusted Jedi Council member and a loyal friend to Luke and Mara-Jade to the point that Seba read the eulogy at Mara’s funeral and even duelled Darth Ceadus injuring him and surviving the fight.

After Caedus’ death and Luke Skywalker’s exile, Saba forcefully took control of the Jedi Council by killing Kenth Hamner, whom she believed had been cowed and was no longer looking after Jedi interests.

After Skywalker’s return, Sebatyne was personally involved in defeating the dark side entity Abeloth by defeating one of her avatars.  Extremely strong in the Force, a master of telekinesis, Saba was able to see behind Darth Cadeus’ public mask and discover who the sith Lord really was. Saba Sebatyne was also one of the greatest lightsaber dualists in Jedi history

Omini was the only Force-sensitive members of the Yuuzhan Vong.

He was a former shaper who appeared mad but was really the brains behind the Vong invasion of the Galaxy.

While augmenting his body as per Vong culture, Omini was marked as a shamed one: small, physically weak and one of the most grotesque members of the Vong race, Omini was underestimated by Supreme Overlord Shimrra who tolerated him and viewed him as a pet, however, his connection to the Force gave him the power to manipulate the minds and control the actions of the Vong; Omini controlled the war against the New Republic from the shadows.

Omini was finally revealled as the mastermind during Shimrra’s battle with Luke Skywalker and the Solo twins, Jacen and Jaina.

Omini was finally defeated in a battle with Jacen that ended the Vong War. The revelation of Oimni as the mastermind of the war was one of the highlights of the New Jedi Order Series and, while it had become obvious that there a twist coming, the reveal of Omini did pull the rug out from under a lot of readers.

The Author of the ‘Rule of Two’, Darth Bane was the originator of the the Sith lineage that ended with Darth Sidious and Vader.

Bane came to power over one hundred years before the events of the original trilogy.

The son of a cortosis miner who was immensely strong in the Force, Bane was brought to the Sith for training in his twenties.

During his training, Bane realised that the massive amount of Sith were siphoning off the Force and decided that the less Sith there was, the better. During the Jedi/Sith war, Bane used the Siths’ lust for power against them and killed all the other Sith with a massive Force bomb.

The Jedi believed that they had vanquished the Sith and didn’t know that Bane was the sole survivor and took Darth Zannah on as his apprentice. Encased in living parasitic armour, a master with a Lightsaber, fuelled by a rage that increased his dark side powers, Bane killed more Sith than any Jedi could ever hope to and was the epitome the mantle of a Dark Lord of the Sith and, as mentioned, set the Sith on the path that would see them wrestle control of the Galaxy and almost wipe the Jedi from the galaxy.

Originally an Imperial officer, Kyle Katarn defected to the rebellion and eventually joined the Jedi order.

Katarn is one of the few self-taught Jedi and during the Vong invasion joined the Jedi High Council.

After a brief fall to the dark side Katarn joined Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Order on Yavin 4 and after his training Katarn took the role of Jedi battlemaster, training other Jedi students in the many forms of lightsaber combat.

During the Vong war Katarn came up with many battle strategies that helped turn the tide in the war and eventually helped the Jedi prevail. As a member of the High Council Katarn was a voice of reason and often played devil’s advocate during debates using the Force to see opinions on both sides of arguments.

Katarn was one of the first people to see through Darth Caedus, eventually facing off against him in a duel, implanting a tracking device on the sith by impaling himself on his opponent’s lightsaber.  Strong, loyal to Luke Skywalker, a master strategist, one of the best users of a lightsaber since Anakin Skywalker and a man who knew that to pass on his knowledge of the Force was the best way to help protect the galaxy from evil, Kyle Katarn is the Jedi we should strive to be like.

Kyp Durron was a slave in the spice mines of Kessel when Han Solo helped rescue him.

A Jedi who polarised opinions across the galaxy, Durron was both a leading member of the Jedi Order during the Vong war and at the same time was responsible for the death of a whole planet full of people by using the Sun Crusher during a dark side fuelled revenge campaign while under the influence of ancient Sith Lord Exar Kun against the Imperial Order.

When Kun’s spirit was exorcised from Durron, he began a long quest to redeem himself for his actions.

Durron was forgiven by Luke Skywalker and went on to become one of (if not the) most powerful Jedi in the New Jedi Order.  He was the first Jedi to meet the Yuuzhan Vong when their invasion began and lost his apprentice in the opening few months of the war, this lead to Duron adopting an aggressive stance against the invaders taking the fight to them which is against the Jedi code.

Durron was one of the Jedi most involved in the defeat of the Vong and after the war became one of Luke’s most senior advisors.

Kyp was one of the strongest Jedi in the history of the order and he believed his powers were superior to Luke’s, he was powerful in telekinesis, Force precognition, a master of lightsaber combat and a damn fine fighter pilot.

Revan and his Sith alter ego, Darth Revan, is legendary amongst Expanded Universe fans.

The protagonist of the video game Knights of the Old Republic, playing as Revan gave the fans a chance to play as either a Jedi or a Sith.

A prodigiously powerful Force user during both his Jedi and Sith campaigns, as the Dark Lord of the Sith Revan destroyed the Mandalorians and conquered most of the galaxy along with his apprentice Darth Malak until Malak betrayed him.

He was captured by the Jedi and had his mind wiped and used as weapon against the Sith. Eventually redeeming himself and saving the galaxy.

The full extent of Revan’s powers aren’t really known as the player chooses the path he goes down but it is understood that Revan was one of the most powerful Force users in the galaxy as he mastered both Dark and Light sides of the Force.

Mitth’raw’nruodo, most commonly know as Grand Admaral Thrawn, was a Chiss who served under the Emperor after the Fall of the Jedi.

One of the very few non-humans to raise through the imperial ranks, Thrawn was a legendary battle strategist who held the respect of all who served under his leadership.

Thrawn spent the years during the clone wars exploring the outer rim of the galaxy and after the Galactic Republic became the Galactic Empire, Thrawn continued to explore the outer rim eventually returning to fight against the New Republic.

He struck from the shadows and tried to bring the desperate and waring former imperial factions together, as he knew of the incoming Vong invasion.

Thrawn located the insane Jedi clone Jorrus C’Boath and had him try to seduce Luke to the dark side to distract the New Republic and would have succeeded if not for his untimely death at the hand of his Nogri bodyguard Rukl.

More recently Thrawn has been seen in the Star Wars: Rebels TV series as the first of the main old EU characters brought into the main canon timeline such is his popularity with fans

The Son of Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade, Ben Skywalker was born during the Vong war and, as a youngling not in control of his Force powers, Ben felt the death and despair that the Vong spread through the galaxy and so turned away from the Force.

At the beginning of the second Galactic civil war, Ben was struggling under the weight of being the son of two of the most prominent Jedi, he was then apprenticed to Jacen Solo and joined his cousin in the Galactic Alliance Guard – essentially a secret police service.

Ben was increasingly used on violent missions by instruction of his older cousin and master including the assassination of a Corellian Politician.

As Jacen Solo turned to the dark side and became Darth Caedus he tried to take Ben along with him. After Caedus murdered Mara Jade, Ben was the first to suspect his cousin and eventually was able to use the investigative skills he learned in the GAG to prove that Jacen Killed his mother and turned off the path to the darkside.

When Luke Skywalker was exiled for failing to prevent Darth Caedus’ rise to power, Ben accompanied his Father into exile where he was intrigal in stopping the dark side entity Abeloth. Young, yet strong in the Force, Ben’s powers were still not fully developed, it is known he was handy with a lighsaber and that he was an expert investigator and spy.

Ben Skywalker had come to terms with being his father’s son and had a great career as a Jedi ahead of him.

The best of the Jedi and the Sith, Jacen Solo/Darth Ceadus was one of Han and Leia’s twins.

Jacen came to prominence during the Vong war as a leader amongst the Jedi army.  On the Mission to Myrkr, Jacen was presumed dead but he was actually captured and spent nearly a year being tortured by the Yuuzhan Vong and, learning from his torture, Vergere as she planted the seed of his turn to the dark side knowing he would be a powerful Sith.

Jacen escaped the Vong due to Ganner Rysode’s sacrifice and re-joining the Jedi fighting Force eventually defeated the Supreme Overlord of the Ong, Shimrra Jamaane, during which Jacen experienced a moment of unity with the Force.

After a period of wandering the galaxy and studying the Force, Jacen returned to the galaxy where he had a daughter with Tenal Ka. He had also agreed to become the Sith apprentice of Lumiya, The Dark Lady.

He embarked in a year long descent into the dark side setting himself up as the defacto ruler of the Galactic Alliance, attempting to turn Luke’s son to the dark side and, in his final act to push him over the edge of darkness, he murdered Luke’ wife.

As Darth Caedus he committed countless atrocities and murders in the name of balancing the Force (sound familiar?).

Jacen/Caedus was powerful in the Force and mastered many arcane powers unknown to other Jedi of the time such as Force Walking where he could send his spirt back in time to witness events that had occurred in the past, including seeing Vader and Luke’s final confrontation.

The Sword of the Jedi, Jaina Solo was the other half of Han and Leia’s twins along with Jacen.

When the Vong invaded the galaxy Jaina was constantly on the front line bringing the fight to the Vong on the ground and in her star fighter.

After Jacen’s apparent death, Jaina was perilously close to falling to the dark side as she quested to avenge her brother but was redeemed by Kyp Durron.

As the war raged, Jaina devised a way to use the Vong’s bioweapons against them and killed the Vong War Master Tsavong Lah.

During the second Galactic civil war, after it was apparent that Jacen had fallen to the dark side and killed their aunt and Jania’s master Mara Jade, Jaina knew that she was the person who had to stop him and sought out Boba Fett to train in how to kill a Jedi.

Jaina eventually killed Ceadus during a lightsaber duel on board the ship Anakin Solo.  Following the death of Jacen, Jaina stayed active in the Jedi order, helping Luke and Ben, along with the other masters, in defeating Abeloth. Jaina eventually found happiness marrying her long-term partner, Jagged Fel.

A hotshot fighter pilot and powerful Jedi Jaina was one of the few light side users who could control Force lightning and could break a fore choke.

“I name you the Sword of the Jedi. You are like tempered steel, purposeful and razor-keen. Always you shall be in the front rank, a burning brand to your enemies, a brilliant fire to your friends. Yours is a restless life, and never shall you know peace, though you shall be blessed for the peace that you bring to others. Take comfort in the fact that, though you stand tall and alone, others take shelter in the shadow that you cast.”  What Star Wars fan wouldn’t want Luke Skywalker to say that about them?

The youngest of Han and Leia’s three children and named after his infamous grandfather, a name which burdened the boy for his early life, Anakin feared slipping to the dark side and this fear pushed him to be the best Jedi he could.

Anakin was the pivotal figure in the Vong war, participating in many of the major battles and developing effective tactics against the Vong.  He was the leader of the ill-fated Mission to Myrkr to end the scourge of the Voxyn – Force sensitive Jedi hunting animals responsible for the death of many Jedi – Anakin gave his life to defend his team and buy them the time to kill the Voxyn queen.

Anakin died as he was surrounded by the Vong: he channelled the Force and pure white light poured from his hands disintegrating the attacking warriors. As the Force energy surrounded him Anakin died as a beacon of light at one with the Force and turning the tide in the war.

Like his namesake, Anakin was immensely strong in the Force, a gifted pilot and a skilled mechanic, he also had a genius level intellect.  A hero through and through and a proponent of The Living Force, Anakin more than eclipsed his Grandfather’s lightside escapades and felt the force as natural as others breath.

Hand of the Emperor.

Wife of Luke Skywalker.

Mother to Ben Skywalker.

Jedi Master and Member of the Jedi High Council, Mara Jade is the best and most important character in the Legends canon.

Introduced to us as the Emperor’s former super spy and assassin who was driven by a lust to kill Luke Skywalker to avenge the death of Darth Sidious, Mara eventually came to peace with this desire by killing a clone of Luke and turning her back on the dark side.

After Mara Jade married Luke Skywalker and joined the Jedi order she dedicated her life to protecting the galaxy.

When she joined the Jedi during the Vong war after being infected by a Vong bioweapon, she took Jaina Solo and as an apprentice she took the fight to the Vong as she knew the Jedi had to win so her son Ben had a safe galaxy to grow up in.

Mara was eventually killed by Jacen Solo as the last step on his desent to the dark side and her death sent shockwaves through the Jedi order and her extended family.

A master spy and assassin, a computer whiz, a smuggler and one of the few Jedi who still used blasters, Mara Jade was an expert with her lighsaber and highly skilled behind the stick of her Z-95 Headhunter.

Mara Jade is often held up as the main character that fans of the old expanded Universe would love to see join the main canon but the events of the new movies have killed that hope.

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Ciarán McElherron is 37 years old and living in Belfast with his wife Clare and an assortment of cats and a dog. He caught the nerd bug the first time he saw a lightsaber ignite and Luke Skywalker has been his hero ever since. He watches too much TV, reads too many Marvel comic books and plays way too much Football Manager. Sylvester McCoy was his Doctor and when he grows up he would like to be He-Man

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