When Disney announced that the Star Wars Expanded Universe was no longer canon, it was as if a million bloggers cried out in anger, and were then really pointedly not silenced. But while we’ll all miss great characters like Mara Jade and Quinlan Vos, it’s hard to look through all the enormous amounts of Star Wars EU characters, stories and trivia, and not conclude that some of it is sorta… well, dumb. Check out some of the stuff from the Expanded Universe that we’re probably better off without, plus a few things from the newer series we’d like to see thrown in the Great Pit of Carkoon as well.
SO MANY CAT ALIENS
If you sit down to write a book full of fantastical alien worlds and unbelievable futuristic societies and the most interesting thing you can come up with is “what if there are people who look like cats” maybe you should consider another line of work. Wookieepedia (yes, that’s what it’s called) currently lists 23 pages in the category “Feline sentient species.” One of these species is named “Felinian,” which would be the most groan-inducingly on-the-nose for a race of cat aliens possible if it weren’t for the fact that this list also contains the species “Catuman.”
Developer Bioware is well-known for including gay characters in their games and even allowing players to form gay relationships, so it was a surprise to many when Star Wars: The Old Republic had only boring straight sex, albeit straight sex with space aliens. Responding to public outcry, Bioware addressed the issue with an expansion featuring the planet Makeb, the only place in the entire galaxy where you could be gay. It didn’t really help matters, particularly since players who wanted to be gay needed to both spend extra money and gain new levels in order to do so.
TRUMAN CAPOTE THE HUTT
The Clone Wars CGI cartoon introduced us to all sorts of new characters for us to buy action figures of, but none captured the imagination of kids and fans like giant purple space slug Ziro the Hutt: uncle to Jabba, ruthless crime lord, who sounded just like Truman Capote. Why is that? Director Dave Filion: “Ziro, Jabba’s uncle, originally spoke in Hutt-ese, like Jabba and then he had a different sluggish voice just like Jabba, and then George [Lucas] one day was watching it and said ‘I want him to sound like Truman Capote.’ He actually said that and we were like ‘Wow!'” “Wow!” is certainly one reaction to that decision, yes. Aren’t you glad Lucas isn’t able to make decisions like that any more?
FEAR OF A BLACK GALAXY
For such a vast and fantastical universe, it’s sort of weird that so far Star Wars has maybe like ten black people in it. Sure Windu and Calrissian are high-profile and cool as hell, and the comics recently introduced Sana Solo (Han’s understandably pissed-off estranged wife.) But the next most prominent character is Quarsh Panaka from Phantom Menace, and then we’re down to people like the one black commando on Endor and the one black X-Wing pilot above Endor who shoots out a Star Destroyer shield generator, presciently shouting “SHE’S GONNA BLOW!” and immediately got lit the hell up. Surely we’re forgetting somebody…
THE MOST IMPORTANT ICE CREAM MAKER IN THE GALAXY
Hell yeah, it’s legendary hero Willrow Hood! You remember Willrow—he’s the black guy with a rad pompadour who’s running down a hallway carrying an ice cream maker as Lando evacuates Cloud City. Willrow Hood appears on screen for just barely a second but his backstory has been spun out into the stuff of grand adventure: a humble gas miner for a Rebel-affiliated company, Willrow braves intrigue, combat and torture to protect the secrets hidden within his ice cream maker, which is in fact a sophisticated computer core that just happens to look exactly like an ice cream maker. The alternative backstory of Willrow Hood is that he is an ice cream salesman who’s just made the logical decision to sell ice cream way the hell away from active war zones.
A WRETCHED HIVE OF SCUM AND BACKSTORY
Willrow Hood is just a symptom of another goofy thing about the original trilogy—there’s no background character too obscure not to have been given an elaborate fictional history that nobody in their right mind would ever care about. Take the Mos Eisley Cantina (“Chalmun’s Spaceport Cantina” to those in the know): literally nobody in there is just stopping by to have a drink. Everyone in there is involved in bizarre interstellar intrigues, from the weird hammerhead-looking guy (Momaw Nadon, exiled high priest of Ithor) to the little squeaky bat-person (Kabe, a homesick Chadra-Fan thief coveting the treasures of the Hutts). In Mos Eisley, if you’re a blue-collar repulsorlift mechanic just looking for a tallbeing of Tarkin High Life, you’re a rare exception to the crowd of bounty hunters, assassins, and walrus-faced assholes boasting the death sentence on twelve systems.
There’s exactly one Asian in the original trilogy—Y-wing pilot Ekelarc Yong, who suffers the fate of pretty much all Y-wing pilots after hollering I’M HIIIIIIT—so somebody decided to compensate by making them their own “near-human” race: the Epicanthix. Yes, they are indeed named after epicanthic folds (the skin fold covering the inner corner of the eye in most Asian people) and yes you’re not alone in thinking that’s sort of weird. Anything else sort of weirdly racist about the Epicanthix? How about the fact that they’re a race of renowned warriors with mysterious mental disciplines? Yeesh.
LUKE’S DOUCHEBAG GREAT-GRANDSON
Jon Ostrander is responsible for some of the best Star Wars comics and characters out there so it’s straight-up baffling how he came up with an unlikable turd like Cade Skywalker. Combining the whininess that is the Skywalker heritage with try-hard tattoos and a large amount of guyliner, Cade sulks and grumbles his way through the frequently incomprehensible universe of the Star Wars: Legacy comic, battling his dark nature, his addiction to stupidly-named drugs (why would you ever smoke something that’s literally called a deathstick?), and more Darths than you could shake a lightsaber at. The series eventually petered out around the time Marvel took over comic writing responsibilities.
HELL’S OWN WAFFLE CONE
Lots of creators in the Expanded Universe find themselves writing even bigger and badder Imperial megaweapons for the Rebels to bullseye womp-rat-style, but Kevin Anderson turned the ridiculousness up to 11 and broke off the dial with the Sun Crusher. A teeny-tiny spaceship that looks like a flying P-Nutty cone, the Sun Crusher can blow up entire star systems, travel anywhere in the galaxy with a super-hyperdrive, withstand direct hits from the main laser of a Death Star, and generally seems like the kind of thing a six-year-old would invent in order to fight Superman. Thankfully for suns everywhere, the Sun Crusher was flown into a black hole where everyone could forget about it.
What joke can be told about jizz music that hasn’t been made by giggling teenagers everywhere? From Wookiepedia: “Jizz was an upbeat, swinging genre of music, most notably performed by Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes and the Max Rebo Band.” Is that… are you sure that’s what that means? The official jizz musician action figures (because of course there are action figures) quietly changed it to “jazz,” but every true Star Wars fan demands some good old-fashioned Mos Eisley jizz in their ear.
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