When Disney acquired the rights to Star Wars, nearly all of the existing story material aside from the main films was erased from the proper Star Wars timeline. The old books and games are now referred to as “Legends,” and no longer affect the Star Wars canon. Beloved characters, planets, and storylines were dismissed, causing a bit of controversy. However, the Star Wars universe continues to grow with an influx of new movies, books, and games on the horizon.
Fans recently received the exciting news that Grand Admiral Thrawn, one of the most well-known characters from the now defunct expanded universe, would be re-introduced to proper canon in the newest season of the animated series Star Wars Rebels. With this announcement comes an opportunity for fans to see even more of their favorite characters back in action. Even some characters already introduced in the canon deserve another chance in the spotlight. There are plenty of upcoming video games already announced, but we don’t know exactly when they will take place or what kind of heroes and villains may pop up. These Star Wars characters could tell great stories if they were to appear in a future video game.
This gun-slinging bounty hunter is one of the most memorable original characters introduced in The Clone Wars. Cad Bane, a grizzled Duros, both dressed and acted like a cowboy and caused plenty of trouble for the Jedi Knights he encountered. Although he did team up with Obi-Wan Kenobi at one point, he usually kept true to his villainous ways. Bounty hunters have always been prevalent in the Star Wars universe, and some of the most interesting stories, canon or otherwise, featured a charismatic cast of criminals.
What makes Cad Bane so interesting are his ties to the underworld of the Galactic Republic. Star Wars Underworld, a live-action television series straight from the mind of creator George Lucas never saw the light of day but would have further explored the criminal going-ons of the universe. In fact, the gritty crime-ridden areas of Coruscant’s lower levels were planned to be the setting of multiple ill-fated Star Wars properties, including the infamous Star Wars 1313 video game. The possibility remains of 1313’s ideas and setting may be reworked into one of the upcoming games in some way. The setting is a perfect chance to reintroduce Cad Bane in a supporting role, either as an ally on an adversary.
Of the many shortcomings present in the prequel trilogy, not exploring the Clone Wars well enough sticks out as some of the most wasted potential. The events raged on across the galaxy for over three years and were referenced by Obi-Wan Kenobi in the very first film. Luckily, the six seasons of The Clone Warsanimated series served to flesh out characters like General Grievous and Count Dooku, while also introducing many new interesting personalities. The clones themselves provided some of the show’s best material, and managed to all feel original and compelling despite looking and sounding exactly like one another. Some characters had full arcs within the show, and others, like Captain Rex, have returned in newer Star Wars material. But some clone troopers were left hanging at the story’s end.
Commander Cody served with Obi-Wan Kenobi during the Clone Wars, and was with him on Utapau when Order 66 was enacted and the clone army turned on the Jedi. While some troopers were able to override this protocol and keep their personalities intact, Cody himself attempted to kill Obi-Wan. His fate, and the fate of many Clones as they became phased out for Stormtroopers, remains a mystery. Learning what happened to these soldiers between Episodes III and IV would provide a finality to The Clone Wars series, which was canceled before it was able to tie up its entire stories. Commander Cody is one of the more recognizable characters in the Clone army, and his reappearance could shed light on the mysteries regarding Order 66.
The Republic Commandos have already made their way to the world of video games, but the longer series of novels focusing on this elite team of Clone Troopers told even more interesting stories about this beloved squad. A major player on the team who never appeared outside of those books was Kal Skirata, who helped train Clones on the planet Kamino and on the battlefield. At a young age, he was adopted into a Mandalorian family and lived his life by their customs. Mandalorians are some of the best warriors in the Star Wars universe, represented by prominent bounty hunter Boba Fett. Kal Skirata proudly wore Mandalorian armor and even returned to his homeworld near the end of the Clone Wars.
The events of the siege of Mandalore were originally intended to close out The Clone Wars, but never came to life. Planned as the biggest action event in the series, the battle would have featured fan favorite characters like Ashoka Tano, Captain Rex, and Darth Maul. Kal Skirata and the Republic Commandos may have been present at the battle, as the team already made a cameo in the animated series. The courageous leader and highly-skilled team never backed down from a fight, and it’s hard to imagine they would miss one so closely tied to Skirata’s home. We know the outcome of the battle, but have yet to see any of the battles that took place. It would be a thrill to live out the events in a video game, or even to find out what exactly happened there from these war-grizzled veterans.
While the overarching story of the Star Wars series deals with the battle between the dark side and the light side of the force, there are plenty of other conflicts to be explored and villains to be introduced. Aside from Grand Admiral Thrawn himself, one of the most prominent antagonists of the former expanded universe material was Prince Xizor, leader of the Black Sun. This criminal organization has a long standing reputation for piracy and smuggling across the galaxy for thousands of years. In many Legends stories, Xizor lead the Black Sun and caused nearly as much trouble for the Rebellion as the Empire itself.
Xizor amassed a great deal of wealth and influence among criminal circles and even worked with The Emperor and Darth Vader. The Black Sun crime syndicate has appeared in canon materials, including The Clone Wars show. The animated representation of the criminals featured the Falleen, Xizor’s race, but not the character by name. Prince Xizor is most widely known for his role in Shadows of the Empire, a story set between Episodes V and VI with its own video game. He was a cold and creepy antagonist, and used his ruthless influence to achieve political success. Like Thrawn, Xizor could be plucked from his original appearance and moved around in the new Star Wars timeline. The Black Sun is a major player in the galaxy’s criminal underworld, and should appear in some way in the video game universe, maybe even led by the cunning crown prince himself.
One of the most far-removed Sith lords from the ongoing Star Wars timeline, Darth Bane was an ancient entity that was made canon in an appearance in The Clone Wars’ final arc. Bane starred in a fantastic trilogy of books that explained a great deal of Sith lore and shed light on how the “rule of two” came about. He decreed that the Sith should only consist of a master and an apprentice to remove infighting from the order following a war with the Jedi that left the dark side users nearly extinct. Luckily this aspect of the character was retained after the restructuring of Star Wars canon as he referenced it when he appeared as a force apparition to Yoda.
As far as Star Wars games go, some of the most exciting gameplay elements involve letting players cut loose with crazy force powers. Playing as a Sith lord or even a force user with tendencies for the dark side is an experience that allows Star Wars fans to live out their most twisted fantasies. If any future video games offer the opportunity to go to the dark side, the opportunity for storytelling gets much larger. A Darth Bane appearance could help shed light on the negative consequences of the player’s actions and expand the Sith’s relevance in the new Star Wars canon. The mysterious and malevolent nature of Sith lore is one of the most promising untapped wells explored in new Star Wars material, and a video game could be the most exciting avenue to do so.
Rebel pilot Wedge Antilles has appeared in a fair amount of Star Wars material, both in canon and legends. He’s a somewhat prominent presence in the original trilogy, flying alongside Luke Skywalker in Red Squadron. His backstory is being explored, as we will learn how he defected from the Imperial Academy in the upcoming season of Star Wars Rebels. Wedge was also a featured character in Shattered Empire and Aftermath, two stories that explored what happened to the Empire and the Rebellion after the battle of Endor. Though he’s made plenty of appearances, Wedge Antilles has never lived up to his proper storytelling potential.
In the expanded universe, he was the commander of an elite team of X-Wing fighters known as Wraith Squadron. This team was the star of the fantastic series of X-Wing novels and introduced a number of memorable characters. In Aftermath: Life Debt, the latest Star Wars novel by Chuck Wendig, we learned that Wraith Squadron has been reintroduced to the franchise under the name of Phantom Squadron. Star Wars has always given us some of the most exciting space battles and starship dogfighting, and Wedge is known to be one of the best pilots in the galaxy. It may be a long shot, but if the Rogue Squadron games ever return, it would be nice to see Wedge in a position of authority.