Star Wars Expanded Universe (EU)/Legends Contradictions

Updated on April 22, 2020
Fenn Rirr profile image

Fenn Rirr is an avid reader of Star Wars. His fandom with Star Wars comes from the countless pages of Star Wars books and novels.

Hallmarks of the EU: the Skywalkers and the Yuuzhan Vong invasion.
Hallmarks of the EU: the Skywalkers and the Yuuzhan Vong invasion.

Cutting Ties With the Past for a Better Future

The announcement on April 25, 2014, by Lucasfilm was something that faithful Star Wars fan feared would emerge sooner or later, ever since Disney purchased Lucasfilm for $4 billion in 2012. And the fans, unfortunately, didn’t have to wait long for their fears to be confirmed.

In anticipation of the new entry in the Star Wars cinematic universe, Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens, Lucasfilm made the decision not to rely on the Expanded Universe (EU) as source material for future Star Wars projects. According to the official statement by Lucasfilm on StarWars.com on the same day,

"In order to give maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience, Star Wars Episodes VII-IX will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe."

The EU Is No Longer Canon

Any loyal fans of the franchise can immediately read the writing on the wall: The EU will no longer be considered canon. As such, 35 years’ worth of the EU materials in the form of novels, comic books, games, TV series, toys and spin-off films will no longer have any bearing on upcoming Star Wars storylines.

As an alternative, all the past tales in the EU will be printed under the "Legends" banner. Although considered non-canon, tales under the "Legends" banner are still licensed properties of Lucasfilm and can be considered as an alternate universe in Disney-approved Star Wars storylines.

Which Properties Are Canon?

Today, the canon properties include the following:

  • The feature films (from 1977's Episode IV—A New Hope through Episode IX—The Rise of Skywalker and beyond, including the stand-alone A Star Wars Story films like Rogue One)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars (an animated television series, 2008—not to be confused with the similarly titled Star Wars: Clone Wars from 2003, which is not canon.)
  • Star Wars Rebels (another television series from Lucasfilm Animation, 2014)

The definition of EU/Legends applies to any Star Wars properties and tales that fall outside of those items. Furthermore, any Star Wars EU material that existed prior to the announcement by Lucasfilm on April 25, 2014, automatically falls under the "Legends" banner.

The New Canon

Since that fateful announcement, Disney has already launched several projects that will define the new canon-icity of the Star Wars storyline.

Movies

Cinema-goers worldwide and film critics gave mixed reactions (although most of the feedback was positive) to Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens, which was released in December 2015. Another stand-alone film, the first of its kind in the Star Wars franchise, rolled into cinemas in December 2016 under the title Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

TV Shows

TV viewers are given a new perspective on the rise of the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance in the Star Wars Rebels animated series.

Cover art for various Disney-sanctioned Star Wars novels.
Cover art for various Disney-sanctioned Star Wars novels.

Novels

The fan base for the Star Wars novels is treated to various exciting new titles such as Dark Disciple, Heir to the Jedi, Lords of the Sith, Tarkin and Aftermath.

Factors Behind Contradictions in the EU/Legends Narratives

The chief reason given by Lucasfilm in re-branding the EU into "Legends" was to grant unlimited creative freedom to the filmmakers and authors of Star Wars projects in driving the story line forward in accordance with the new established canon. Another excellent reason for doing so was to push the reset button of the EU.

It is an open secret in the Star Wars fandom that the fabric of the EU was not without its wrinkles. Contradictions between the EU tales were detectable all around, if one managed to carefully thread the multiple branches of the narratives in the EU and pay close attention to the details. While the feature films from Episode I until Episode IX are organized numerically and chronologically, the EU was published out of chronological sequence. Despite the best efforts of Lucas Licensing, both minor and major contradictions still showed up in the EU from time to time.

George Lucas and the Continuity Gatekeepers

As powerful as he was in Lucasfilm before the Disney acquisition, George Lucas did not actually play an active role in the evolution of the EU. Nor he was the top figure who was accountable for the grand design of the EU. Instead, Lucas delegated the assignment of maintaining continuity in the various EU projects and his feature films to a specialized team of ‘continuity gatekeepers’ at Lucasfilm.

In his thinking, George considered the six feature films and the 2008 animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars that he was directly involved in to be the ultimate canon in the Star Wars universe. This was what Lucas had to say regarding this subject matter:

I don't read that stuff. I haven't read any of the novels. I don't know anything about that world. That's a different world than my world. But I do try to keep it consistent. The way I do it now is they have a Star Wars Encyclopedia. So if I come up with a name or something else, I look it up and see if it has already been used. When I said other people could make their own Star Wars stories, we decided that, like Star Trek, we would have two universes: My universe and then this other one.

— George Lucas

Prioritization

Another factor that led to contradictions in the EU was Lucas’s prioritization. According to him, if there is any contradiction between the canon in the feature films and the EU source, that particular point in the EU source will be considered invalid, although the rest of the source is still part of the continuity. What was the downside to this approach? The internal continuity between the EU projects was compromised as they were not as prioritized as the feature films.

No matter how much Lucas tried to devote his time to working with other authors, writers and artists in the evolution of the EU, there were always some minor details that got overlooked. This is quite normal when a lot of people are working towards a common goal and different decision-makers may have different ideas and approaches to getting things done. And those overlooked details, one way or another, ended up in the final products that conveyed the EU tales.

List of 15 Contradictions Between EU/Legends Narratives

The following list spells out 15 inconsistencies that exist between various EU/Legends narratives. Contradictions between the EU/Legends sources and the canon material (all the feature films, the Star Wars: The Clone Wars 2008 series and the Star Wars Rebels series) are not highlighted here. The rule of thumb is that if anything in the Star Wars canon conflicts with the EU/Legends material, the EU/Legends material is automatically relegated to non-canon status.

1. When Githany Dies

"Darth Bane: Path of Destruction"
"Jedi vs. Sith"
Format: Novel
Format: Comic Book
Publisher: Del Rey
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Year: 2006
Year: 2001
Author: Drew Karpyshyn
Writer: Darko Macan

Contradiction

  • In Darth Bane: Path of Destruction, Githany is one of the victims of the thought bomb. Her death takes place immediately after the detonation.
  • In Jedi vs. Sith, Githany lived long enough after the detonation to have one last conversation with Bane before she dies from the thought bomb's effect.

A cosplayer dressed up as Darth Bane.
A cosplayer dressed up as Darth Bane. | Source

2. Bane's Role in the Thought Bomb and Darth Zannah's Existence

"Darth Bane: Path of Destruction" and "Darth Bane: Rule of Two"
"Bane of the Sith"
Format: Novel
Format: Short story in "Star Wars Gamer #3"
Publisher: Del Rey
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Year: 2006–2007
Year: 2001
Author: Drew Karpyshyn
Author: Kevin J. Anderson

Contradictions

Thought Bomb

  • The thought bomb that annihilates all the Jedi and Sith on Ruusan is the result of Bane's scheme in Darth Bane: Path of Destruction.
  • In Bane of the Sith, Bane insisted that Lord Kaan avoid using the thought bomb.

Darth Zannah

  • After adopting the title of 'Darth', Darth Bane has an apprentice in Darth Zannah. Darth Zannah plays a key role in both Darth Bane: Path of Destruction and Darth Bane: Rule of Two.
  • In Bane of the Sith, Darth Zannah is not mentioned whatsoever.

A rare instance in Star Wars EU history where the Knighting ceremony is presented visually.
A rare instance in Star Wars EU history where the Knighting ceremony is presented visually.

3. When Anakin Becomes a Jedi Knight

"Jedi Trial"
"Star Wars: Clone Wars" (2003 series, season 3, chapter 21)
Format: Novel
Format: Animated TV microseries
Publisher: Del Rey
Network: Cartoon Network
Year: 2004
Year: 2005
Author: David Sherman, Dan Cragg
Director: Gendy Tartakovsky

Contradiction

  • In the animated TV microseries, Anakin Skywalker's ascension to Jedi Knight takes place during the early days of the Clone Wars. The shortage of Jedi Knights necessitates this action, even though Jedi Master Oppo Ranciscis raised objection to the Knighthood of Skywalker.
  • In Jedi Trial, Skywalker is only promoted to Jedi Knight towards the end of the Clone Wars, around 6 months before the end of the conflict.

4. Fordo's Rank

"Star Wars: Clone Wars" (2003 series, season 1, chapter 3)
"Star Wars: Clone Wars" (2003 series, season 1, chapter 9)
Format: Animated TV microseries
Format: Animated TV microseries
Network: Cartoon Network
Network: Cartoon Network
Year: 2004
Year: 2004
Director: Gendy Tartakovsky
Director: Gendy Tartakovsky

Contradiction

  • The rank of ARC Trooper Captain Fordo changes over the course of the series. In chapter 3, he is a sergeant.
  • In chapter 9, he is a commander.
  • Additionally, he is referred back to his original rank of captain in season 2, chapter 20.

Boba Fett in action figure form.
Boba Fett in action figure form. | Source

5. When Boba Fett #5: A New Threat Takes Place

"Boba Fett #5: A New Threat"
"Jedi Trial"
Format: Juvenile Novel
Format: Novel
Publisher: Scholastic
Publisher: Del Rey
Year: 2004
Year: 2004
Author: Elizabeth Hand
Author: David Sherman, Dan Cragg

Contradiction

  • Anakin Skywalker is still a Padawan in the juvenile novel.
  • This contradicts the fact that the events in the juvenile novel are supposed to take place after the events in Jedi Trial, where Skywalker is promoted to Jedi Knight.

6. When Boba Fett Went to Coruscant

"Boba Fett #6: Pursuit"
"Boba Fett #1: The Fight to Survive"
Format: Juvenile novel
Format: Juvenile novel
Publisher: Scholastic
Publisher: Scholastic
Year: 2004
Year: 2002
Author: Elizabeth Hand
Author: Terry Bisson

Contradiction

  • It is claimed in Boba Fett #6: Pursuit that Boba Fett has never been to Coruscant.
  • However, Boba Fett #1: The Fight to Survive clearly chronicled the incident where Fett is captured by Aurra Sing on Coruscant.

The Battle of Coruscant rages on in space above Coruscant.
The Battle of Coruscant rages on in space above Coruscant.

7. How Long the Battle of Coruscant Was

"Labyrinth of Evil"
"Republic Commando: Order 66"
Format: Novel
Format: Novel
Publisher: Del Rey
Publisher: Del Rey
Year: 2005
Year: 2008
Author: James Luceno
Author: Karen Traviss

Contradiction

  • The Battle of Coruscant in Republic Commando: Order 66 spans several days.
  • However, the battle occurs in the course of a single day in Labyrinth of Evil.

8. Mace Windu's Fight and Who Rescues the Supreme Chancellor

"Labyrinth of Evil"
"Star Wars: Clone Wars" (2003 series)
Format: Novel
Format: Animated TV microseries
Year: 2005
Year: 2005
Publisher: Del Rey
Network: Cartoon Network
Author: James Luceno
Director: Gendy Tartakovsky

Contradictions

Mace Windu

  • In the novel, Mace Windu fights on a maglev train against General Grievous.
  • In the series, Mace fights droids alongside Yoda.

The Rescue

  • In the novel, several different Jedi attempt to rescue the Supreme Chancellor.
  • In the series, a trio of Jedi Masters made up of Shaak Ti, Roron Corrob and Foul Moudama attempt to rescue him.

9. When Garm Bel Iblis Learns About the Death Star

"Interlude at Darkknell"
"The Force Unleashed"
Format: Short story in "Tales from the New Republic"
Formats: Video game and novel
Year: 1999
Year: 2008
Publisher: Bantam Spectra
Publishers: LucasArts (video game), Del Rey (novel)
Authors: Timothy Zahn, Michael A. Stackpole
Author: Sean Williams

Contradiction

  • In The Force Unleashed, Garm Bel Iblis, along with Mon Mothma and Bail Organa, attended and signed the Corellian Treaty at Corellia that marks the formal birth of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. However, they are ambushed by the Imperial forces under the command of Darth Vader and taken captive aboard the nearly completed first Death Star.
  • In Interlude at Darkknell, the Rebel Alliance is already active, but it is pictured in the novel that Garm Bel Iblis knows very little about the existence of the Death Star.

10. Who Steals the Death Star Plans

"X-Wing"
"Dark Forces"
Format: Video game
Format: Video game
Year: 1993
Year: 1995
Publisher: LucasArts
Publisher: LucasArts
Author: —
Author: —

Contradiction

Different Rebellion agents are tasked with stealing the plans to the Death Star in these two video games.

  • In Dark Forces, Kyle Katarn is given the task.
  • In X-Wing, the person in charge of the heist is Keyan Farlander.

11. Whether Ree-Yees Survived the Sail Barge Explosion

"Galaxy Guide 5: Return of the Jedi"
"Goatgrass: The Tale of Ree-Yees"
Format: Role-playing game supplement
Format: Short story in "Tales from the Jabba Palace"
Year: 1995
Year: 1996
Publisher: West End Games
Publisher: Bantam Spectra
Author: Michael Stern, George Strayton
Author: Deborah Wheeler

Contradiction

  • The role-playing game supplement that provides Ree-Yees's basic backstory as a murderer suggests that he survived Jabba's sail barge explosion in Return of the Jedi.
  • The short story seems to suggests that Ree-Yees perished in the blast.

12. Where and When the Thought Bomb Is Detonated

"Dark Forces: Jedi Knight"
"Darth Bane: Path of Destruction"
Format: Illustrated novella
Format: Novel
Year: 1998
Year: 2006
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics, Boulevard
Publisher: Del Rey
Author: Dave Dorman
Author: Drew Karpyshyn

Contradictions

The final moments of the thought bomb that wipes out both the Jedi and Sith are presented differently in these two works.

Where

  • In Dark Forces: Jedi Knight, Kyle Katarn envisions the thought bomb being detonated in an open valley.
  • According to Drew Karpyshyn's novel, Darth Bane: Path of Destruction, the bomb is detonated in a cave.

When

  • In Dark Forces, Lord Kaan creates the thought bomb before the arrival of the Jedi in the vision of Kyle Katarn.
  • In Darth Bane, the thought bomb is simultaneously created and detonated upon the arrival of the Jedi in the cave.

13. Lumpawarrump's Age

"Rebel Dawn"
"A Forest Apart: A Chewbacca Adventure"
Format: Novel
Format: Ebook novella
Year: 1998
Year: 2003
Publisher: Bantam Spectra
Publisher: Del Rey
Author: A.C. Crispin
Author: Troy Denning

Contradiction

  • Lumpawarrump is said to be eleven years old in A Forest Apart: A Chewbacca Adventure.
  • However, Rebel Dawn specifies that he was born in 1BBY, meaning he should be about eight or nine years old instead.

Jaster Mereel reunited with the young Jango Fett after a skirmish against the Deathwatch.
Jaster Mereel reunited with the young Jango Fett after a skirmish against the Deathwatch.

14. Who Jaster Mereel Is

"The Last One Standing: The Tale of Boba Fett"
"Jango Fett: Open Seasons"
Format: Short story in "Tales of the Bounty Hunters"
Format: Comic book series
Year: 1996
Year: 2002
Publisher: Bantam Spectra
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Author: Daniel Keyes Moran
Author: Haden Blackman

Contradiction

  • Jaster Mereel is identified as the leader of True Mandalorians, and he is the mentor of Boba Fett's father, Jango Fett, in the comic book series.
  • However, the name Jaster Mereel is revealed to be the real name of Boba Fett in the novel.

15. Boba Fett's Backstory

"Star Wars 68: The Search Begins"
"Dark Empire II #2"
Format: Comic book
Format: Comic book
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Year: 1983
Year: 1995
Author: David Michelinie
Author: Tom Veitch

Contradiction

  • Boba Fett is revealed as one of the 212 Mandalorian Supercommandos from the Clone Wars in Star Wars #68: The Search Begins.
  • In Dark Empire II #2, Boba Fett is a former Imperial stormtrooper who murdered his superior officer.

Legacy of EU/Legends in the Future of Star Wars

While fans of Star Wars will see the franchise charting new territories, elements from the EU/Legends are not totally discarded. Creators of the new Star Wars universe will have full access to the vast content of the EU/Legends.

Fans will continue to see parts of the EU/Legends being revived in future Star Wars projects. For example, the planet Malachor from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic made an appearance in the second season finale of Star Wars Rebels. In Kylo Ren, fans can see the veiled connection between him and Darth Caedus. EU/Legends materials will continue to see the light of the day to keep up with the demand from fans who are eager to delve into the rich history of the Star Wars universe.

References

  1. http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page
  2. Wallace, D. (2005). Star Wars The New Essential Chronology. Del Rey Books.
  3. Hidalgo, P. (2012). Star Wars The Essential Reader's Companion. Del Rey Books.

Comments

Submit a Comment
  • profile image

    Jose 

    3 years ago

    I grew up more with EU/Legends, but I can see the need to reset canon. I'm the kind of person who reads and watches not only great stories, but consistent ones too. That said, I'll always have my heart in EU/Legends, but I want to give the new Disney canon a chance because they have great AND consistent stories. I hope other Star Wars fans will give it chance as well.

  • Fenn Rirr profile imageAUTHOR

    Fenn Rirr 

    3 years ago

    Let me make clear on 3 things:

    1. I was, is and always will favor the Expanded Universe over Disney-sanctioned canon. To me, the founding of the Rebel Alliance's emblem in 'The Force Unleashed' supersedes Sabine's firebird artwork in 'Star Wars Rebels'.

    2. I overlooked the importance on citing my resources for this article. Hence, I will include them in this article. Writing based on assumptions is not something that I will tolerate myself.

    3. This article solely highlights the contradictions that existed in the EU. That's all to it. I wrote this article because I found there was a void for a straight-forward list to spell the contradictions. Capiche? Therefore, discussions on EU retcons and corrections for the error on my part is greatly welcomed. By all means, you can go all out to do so in the comments. I've been a Star Wars fan for 10 years plus. But still, I have never claimed to be the biggest fan out there, nor have I ever claimed to be a walking Star Wars EU encyclopedia. However, please exercise respect and civilized response when addressing this issue in my comments section. As such, I will not tolerate personal jabs that are directed to me as the author and I will not hesitate to delete derogative phrases in the comments section.

  • profile image

    Randver 

    3 years ago

    Most of those "contradictions" were already explained. They don't really contradict the lore anyway.

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