Lucasfilm Ltd. via Everett Collection
The announcement that Peter Mayhew, the actor behind everyone’s favorite co-pilot Chewbacca, was set to reprise his role in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII (via The Hollywood Reporter) stirred up some outrage. Not from anti-Wookiee hate groups, but from die hard fans who feared that the upcoming movie would be contradicting the Expanded Universe. The Star Wars novel Vector Prime killed off Chewbacca during the Yuuzhan Vong War, 21 years after the events of Return of the Jedi and about a decade prior to those that we’ll see in Episode VII. As such, the Expanded Universe canon is being abandoned (or, at least, treated as “optional”) which has a lot of longtime devotees upset.
But, honestly, this is probably a good thing. After all, there are plenty of ridiculous conceits from the EU that would come off pretty terrible were they to take form in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming feature film. Here are a few reasons we’re kind of relieved that he’s not paying the literature’s canon much mind…
Darth Maul Gets Robot Legs
Darth Maul, the scary tattooed-and-horned villain from Episode I who was killed by Obi-Wan at the end of the film, is not only still alive, but he now has robot legs that he uses to follow Obi-Wan around the galaxy in order to get his revenge… which, at one point, include his desire to kill baby Luke Skywalker. It’s the first documented instance of robot legs making someone less cool.
Bendorian, the Jedi Hutt
Looking at Jabba the Hutt, it’s hard to believe that Hutts would have the freedom of movement necessary to become a Jedi, but one of them did indeed manage. Bendorian wasn’t a Jedi for long. He quickly went over to the Dark Side and was then promptly killed by Leia (that’s two for her, is she some kind of anti-Huttite?). But the fact that he even managed to wield a lightsaber in the first place is completely baffling.
Luke Gets Brainwashed (Constantly)
In the films, Luke is a smart, capable Jedi (who, yes, whines a little too much about power converters, but he’s okay). In the books, he’s pretty incompetent, constantly getting captured, brainwashed, and converted to the Dark Side by whatever random cult or clone Emperor he happens to stumble across. And each and every time, he simply brushes off whatever lesson he was supposed to learn and forgets all about it until the next time he accidentally falls to the Dark Side. This guy is the original hero of the Star Wars films!
“Creatively” Named Clones
The Thrawn Trilogy is regarded as being the best books in the Expanded Universe, but that didn’t stop them from featuring an evil clone of Luke Skywalker, creatively named Luuke. If that weren’t bad enough, the character is just an elaborate puppet for another evil clone, which takes what could have been a pretty cool plot and renders it stupid and pointless. Everyone knows the first rule of clones is that if you can’t bother to make them interesting, you give them a cool name.
Everything About The Third Law
It seems like it might be impossible to make a Star Wars adventure boring, and yet, somehow, The Third Law did just that by setting all of the action on a planet whose main purpose was banking. The plot includes something about Darth Vader attempting to prevent Leia from getting a loan, after which she tricks him into accidentally killing one of the locals, but it doesn’t matter because you probably checked out the second you read the words “banking planet.” There’s a reason it never popped up in the movies.
Darth Vader Has a Magic Glove
Apparently, Darth Vader’s glove was magical and indestructible, and the person who owned it became the new Emperor of the galaxy. This was the plot for an entire book. We really wish we were making this one up.
Four Words: Star Wars Holiday Special
The television event so universally reviled that George Lucas refuses to let it see the light of day, the Star Wars Holiday Special featured Chewbacca’s extended family, Princess Leia singing the Star Wars theme, and (for some strange reason) Bea Arthur. Are you sure you still want to keep the Expanded Universe as part of the Star Wars canon?