“Star Wars: Legacy” fills us in on 30 years and preps us for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”
I have high hopes for what’s to come with Disney’s acquisition of Star Wars. The merger with Marvel was a success. And with J.J. Abrams directing the newest film, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” what could go wrong?
I’m excited for a continuation of the Skywalker family saga, but one downside was the loss of the expanded universe. When Timothy Zahn’s “Thrawn Trilogy” released, I read novels continuing the adventures of Luke, Leia and Han.
I loved that Han and Leia got married and had three kids. I enjoyed seeing Luke reform the Jedi Order. Even through tragedies that struck the family, it was incredible to read the saga’s continuation, especially since Lucas was consulted, and to some extent, had to approve storylines.
For a long time, everything that came under the expanded universe (novels, comics, video games, television series and Ewok films) were considered canon by most fans. In other words, all that media was accepted as official parts of the Star Wars story and was approved by Lucasfilm. However, when Disney acquired Lucasfilm Ltd., the expanded universe was discontinued. It still exists but is labeled “Star Wars: Legends.” Out of everything that was previously part of Star Wars universe, only the six films, the “Clone Wars” TV series and film, and the “Star Wars: Rebels” series are considered canon. Of course, any new material published or released from this point forward will be part of that “real story.”
“Legends” can be mined for story ideas (here’s hoping Mara Jade Skywalker – Luke’s wife – shows up at some point), but the continuation I’d followed for close to 20 years no longer exists. I’m excited for what “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will introduce to the series, but it’s hard to shake off all of those plots.
The “Legends” novels and comics are still available, but although not considered official there are some cool stories.
A personal favorite is “Star Wars: Legacy,” a comic series that launched in 2006 when the publishing company, Dark Horse, revamped its entire Star Wars brand. Set 137 years after the Battle of Yavin (the one in “Star Wars: A New Hope” where Luke destroys the first Death Star), the series follows Cade Skywalker, a descendant of Luke’s family.
Cade isn’t a heroic Jedi like his ancestors. He has Force powers and was training as a Jedi until he was 14. After seeing his father killed by Sith and his academy destroyed, he joined a band of pirates and hid his family name.
He is forced into greater galactic events and to accept his legacy as the descendant of Luke Skywalker.
Unlike most of the expanded universe, this series is set in the future. The original characters aren’t mentioned much, but it’s cool to see a female Imperial princess who is descended from Han and Leia’s daughter, Jaina, and Cade who isn’t thrilled about being a Skywalker.
The comics ran for 50 issues through 2011 and was one of the best selling series in the expanded universe.
Cade’s got that Han Solo-esque pirate swagger/reluctant hero thing down, but he’s his own person. He feels the pressure of those who believe only a Skywalker can unite the Jedi into defeating the Sith. While he’s reluctant to lead the charge, he slowly comes to accept that his destiny lies in being a Skywalker.
“Star Wars: Legacy” was fully completed before the Disney acquisition and was the last major Star Wars series of the expanded universe. A second series was in the works, set in the same time period but starring Ania Solo, a descendant of Han and Leia’s. Unfortunately, only a few issues were released and it was never concluded.
“Star Wars: Legacy” is worth the read. You can find it published in 10 trades (several comic issues bound together). It’s sure to appeal to both fans of “Star Wars” and comic book lovers in general.
If you’d rather stick to what’s currently canon, Marvel Comics now has the rights to Star Wars (or rather regained the rights, which they originally had from 1977-1986), and since January have published several series focusing on the main characters from the original trilogy. Each trade focuses on a different character: Luke, Darth Vader, Leia and Han. They take place after “A New Hope” and will help fill in the gaps of what happened to the characters in the 30 years that passed between “Return of the Jedi” and “The Force Awakens.”
Dorothy Sasso is a former Soap Opera Digest writer and a private school teacher. She is busy reading books and raising her daughter.
“Star Wars: Legacy”
Authors: John Ostrander and Jan Duursema
10 Graphic Novels
Publisher: Dark Horse