In the past, the Expanded Universe (EU) had been my only doorway to Star Wars stories, since we were no longer getting any on screen. I had always cherished those stories and sometimes had even found them to be more captivating than what was in the Star Wars live-action films. Even though the EU is now re-branded as "Legends," I will never forget those stories and what they meant to me. So many characters I fell in love with, and I will cherish them forever. Out of the thousands of characters that make up the EU, these ten characters will forever stand out to me:
VERGERE is of the Fosh species and was a former Jedi Knight, and secret apprentice to Darth Sidious. Can you imagine if she would have been Palpatine's apprentice during the Clone Wars? Oh how things could have been different. Vergere thought Sidious was a lunatic after she heard of his plans, so she ran off to escape Sidious' wrath (smart chick). She later gets captured by the Yuuzhan Vong (as seen in the picture) and shares with them information on the Republic and Jedi. Vergere has influenced two future Sith Lords, Darths Caedus and Krayt. She is clever and very deceitful. Her allegiance is still being debated on by fans to this day. Sith or Jedi? Perhaps something even beyond their scope..
"Listen well. Everything I tell you is a lie. Every question I ask is a trick. You will find no truth in me. Though you believe nothing else, you may rest your faith on this." - Vergere (Star Wars: New Jedi Order: Traitor)
CELESTE MORNE is one of those characters that has seen a lot. Yoda's 900 years are nothing compared to the thousands that Celeste has been forced to suffer through. She started her time during the old Republic days when the Mandalorian Wars were being fought. She was devoted to stopping the Sith at all costs. Something she proved by allowing the Muur Talisman to attach to her. Now she has the mind of the long dead Sith Lord, Karness Muur, trapped inside her head. Her life has been prolonged due to the talisman. Can you imagine living thousands of years with someone you despise inside your head at all times? She has fought her fair share of Skywalkers as well. Facing Darth Vader in the "Dark Times" comic series. She faced Luke in the "Rebellion" series, and even infected Cade Skywalker with the Rakghoul plague in the "Legacy" series. This lady has been everywhere. Talk about devotion..
"You're a Jedi? Jedi do not fall so easily boy. The ages have obviously not been kind to the Order. Tell me who you serve—before I punish your lack of skill with death." - Celeste Morne (Star Wars: Rebellion #16)
NAGA SADOW is a Dark Lord of the Sith and leader of the old Sith Empire during the Great Hyperspace War. It was Naga who orchestrated a plan to trick the Sith Empire into attacking the Galactic Republic. Sadow longed for the day when the Sith Empire expanded its regions into Republic space. He was met with great opposition by his rival Ludo Kressh, who believed the Sith Empire should remain as it is. Eventually Naga became the Dark Lord and invaded the Republic, but much to his dismay his forces where defeated. This course of action shaped the future of all Sith Orders to follow. Though his forces were defeated, this does not take away from the power that Naga Sadow had. He was arguably the greatest Sith Sorcerer of his time, and some fans will argue he is the greatest sorcerer of all time. He is the main reason I have the symbol of the old Sith Empire tattooed on me. Long live the Sith Empire!
"Here in my Meditation Chamber I can see the galaxy in my mind's eye…I can visualize vast armies, powerful fleets, invincible warriors…and with Sith arts, my imagination can make them real!" - Naga Sadow (Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi: The Fall of the Sith Empire)
ULIC QEL-DROMA's story is a tragic masterpiece. A young and brash Jedi Knight who comes from a family of strong Jedi tradition. Ulic was very much an Anakin Skywalker of his time. He felt he could fight darkness with darkness, and went undercover to fight the Sith cult known as the Krath. A very unwise decision on his part, and the Jedi's for allowing him to do so. The temptations of the dark side are strong, and so are the temptations of the beautiful Aleema Keto. This proved to be too much for Ulic, and he allowed the Darkside to take over. Ulic would take charge of the very group he was supposed to destroy. Qel-Droma goes through a lot of emotional arcs throughout the Tales of the Jedi series. We see his relationship with his brother and with his lover, Nomi Sunrider. Ultimately, Qel-Droma turns his back on both and suffers heavy consequences for doing so. Having the Force taken from him was a defining moment in this series and for Star Wars. We will never see another like Ulic Qel-Droma..
"I don't come in the name of the Jedi… I come in the name of the future, a new golden age for the galaxy… a future based on the Sith, not the creaking old Republic." - Ulic Qel-Droma (Tales of the Jedi: The Sith War #2)
ROAN FEL's Galactic Empire has always been one of my favorite factions in Star Wars. Ever wonder what the Empire would be like if ran by someone who doesn't have a Sith agenda? Well, we get that with the Fel Emperors, and especially Roan Fel. He is a descendant of Jagged Fel from the "Legacy of the Force" series. Emperor Fel is never without his loyal Imperial Knights, who are basically Jedi who serve the Empire (how cool is that). Unlike the Jedi, Fel doesn't mind using harsh methods for the greater good. This is a main reason the Sith are able to deceive him into fighting the Galactic Alliance and turning on the Jedi. Roan Fel has had tensions with the Jedi in the past but he does try to smooth things out. He represents the Empire inside and out. He is a stern man and will put nothing in front of the Empire. Though he is always accompanied by his bodyguards, Roan is a completely trained Imperial Knight as well. He embodies all the attributes I want in my Emperor. Long live the Empire!
"I am the Emperor, sir—and you will be mindful of how you speak! We are not equals." - Roan Fel (Star Wars: Legacy #36)
MARA JADE is of course on this list. First off, Shannon McRandle will always be Mara Jade to me (as you can see in the picture). When I think of Mara it is Shannon's face that I see. Mara is a character that has made some drastic changes throughout her life. She started off as the loyal Hand to Darth Sidious. She was tasked on many occasions to kill Luke Skywalker (something she was obviously unsuccessful at). The fact that she married her archenemy is something crazy. That speaks about the respect she has for him, even when they were pitted against each other. Mara became an important figure in the New Jedi Order as well, and even reached the level of Master and sat on the High Council. Talk about a total 180. Former Emperor's Hand turned Jedi Council Member. I won't tell you how emotional I got when I read "Star Wars: Sacrifice" for the first time. I am sure you already know the feelings I had. Mara Jade has inspired millions of fangirls and I love what she has brought to the fandom. My favorite ginger. Rest in peace master Skywalker, and catch your murderer they did.
"There is a lot of unrest in life. The Force is created by life, so it has unrest in it. If you open yourself to the Force, how can you not open yourself to a certain amount of unrest?" - Mara Jade Skywalker (Legacy of the Force: Betrayal)
DARTH KRAYT and his One Sith are my favorite Sith faction from the EU. I have never been a fan of the Rule of Two. You will notice that I am a huge fan of the Old Sith Empire, New Sith Empire, and the One Sith. Wisely, Darth Krayt undid the ways of Darth Bane and instituted the Rule of One. A Jedi is strong by alone, but together they are stronger. Darth Krayt understood this and applied that to his Sith. Being a former Jedi, Darth Krayt understands a larger aspect of the Force. Krayt has been around for awhile and seen some things. He was a general in the Clone Wars as the Jedi A'Sharad Hett. He survived Order 66 and returned to life as a Tusken Raider. It is then that he locked blades with fellow Jedi in hiding, Obi-Wan Kenobi. After his defeat at the hands of Kenobi, Hett was forced to leave Tatooine. Hett then became a bounty hunter and traveled to Korriban where he would learned from the ancient Sith Lord XoXaan. A'Sharad also learned from Vergere (another character on this very list) during his time as a prisoner of the Yuuzhan Vong. Krayt has lived long past that of what a normal human should, and this is due to dark side rituals and the occasional time in stasis chambers. The dark side is strong with Krayt and his One Sith, and I hope they return to canon one day.
"Don't look so amazed. The Sith were always born and re-born within the ranks of the Jedi." - Darth Krayt (Star Wars: Legacy: Claws of the Dragon)
LUMIYA is still one of my ALL TIME favorite Star Wars comic book characters. Her story has been really fleshed out since her time in the original comic book run of Marvel Star Wars. She is a former Hand of the Emperor, and girlfriend of Luke (when she was undercover as a Rebel agent). After the defeat of Vader and Sidious in Return of the Jedi, Lumiya claims the title of Dark Lord..Dark Lady to be correct. She goes through a couple Sith apprentices before finally settling down on Jacen Solo, of all people. Her relationship with Jacen is what really made me fall in love with her character. I know there are a lot of fans who will forever hate Lumiya because of that, but I'm not one of them. Her cold cybernetic features and dangerous lightwhip have made her easily recognizable to Star Wars fans, and I have hope that maybe Marvel can revive her in some form or fashion when they start publishing Star Wars comics again. Luke and Lumiya's final duel in "Star Wars: Sacrifice" is both a sad and fitting end for the character of Lumiya.
"You're afraid that my words might be true. That the dark side doesn't corrupt in and of itself. That you're destined to become the next Sith Lord—the first Sith Lord to be active in decades, the first one in centuries with the strength to use the Sith techniques to help others. Because if it is true, you have to make a decision, choosing between your life as it is—comfortable, but almost purposeless—and life as you know it should be." - Lumiya (Legacy of the Force: Betrayal)
NOMI SUNRIDER is my favorite Jedi from the EU. She became one of the most legendary Jedi Masters of the Order. Ironically, Nomi never imagined she would be a great Master, let alone a Jedi for that matter. It is true what they say, "The Force works in mysterious ways." Nomi's husband, Andur, was to be trained by a legendary teacher (Thon), and on his way to meet up with this Jedi, he and his family were robbed by thieves. Andur was killed, leaving Nomi alone with their daughter to raise. Nomi would continue to travel to Jedi Master Thon (due to Andur's Force ghost telling her to go and be trained) and learn the ways of the Jedi. Nomi was exceptionally skilled in the art of Battle Meditation and her powers were often used by the Jedi. Because of this skill, she became an important member of the Order, especially during the dark era that she lived in. She was responsible for taking away the Sith Lord Ulic Qel-Droma's Force connection, which resulted in him turning on his master and ending the war. For a lady who started out as a stay at home mom she sure did make one heck of a Jedi. The Force was indeed strong with her.
"You know I'm too timid to be a Jedi…but our daughter will be a great Jedi someday…with Master Thon and you teaching her." - Nomi Sunrider (Tales of the Jedi: The Saga of Nomi Sunrider)
JACEN SOLO/DARTH CEADUS is without a doubt my all time favorite character from the EU. His mastery and understanding of the Force is second to none. Jacen knew Force abilities that the Jedi Council thought were impossible. I will not focus too much on how strong he is, because I am bias on the matter. The Solo family has brought great joy to me over the years with all the stories taking place after "Return of the Jedi." I feel as if I have seen Jacen grow from a young boy to a power Sith Lord (sounds familiar). The "New Jedi Order" series made me fall in love with Jacen, and the "Legacy of the Force" series stabbed me in the heart with a lightsaber. The whole time I am reading "Legacy of the Force" I am just trying to talk to Caedus and reason with him, but he just doesn't seem to hear me. One of the things I hate when reading a story is when two of my favorite characters fight. This always leaves me nervous, because I don't want anyone of them to go. Such was the case with Jacen and Mara. This decision could not have been anymore heartbreaking. Why did the guys at Del Rey do this to me? Were they picking on me? It felt like it. Then to add insult to injury they start every chapter of "Star Wars: Invincible" with a joke that Jacen said from earlier novels. It is like they wanted to make sure they hit you right dead square in the middle of the feels. Job well done, Del Rey. A job well done.
Though they are no longer canon, these will always be great characters that I will cherish with me for the rest of my life. I hope that some of the characters on this list will find themselves being introduced into official canon. I love the EU and I am thankful for all the stories that it brought us. You are not gone, but simply one with the Force. What EU characters have had an impact on you the most?