The Force Awakens, a new hope for Expanded Universe Fans

The Force Awakens, a new hope for Expanded Universe Fans

I am a Star Wars fan.  In junior high, it would have been difficult to find a shirt I owned that didn’t reference Star Wars in some way.   We had the prequels releasing throughout that time, but with those being huge disappointments, I had to get my fix of a galaxy far, far away somewhere else.  Thus, I turned to the EU (Expanded Universe, which consisted of novels, comic books, and video games).

It wasn’t Qui-Gon or Jar Jar that made me happy to be excited to be a fan, it was Kyle Katarn, Mara Jade, and Darth Revan.  Games like Knights of the Old Republic,  Dark Forces, and Masters of Teräs Käsi  (don’t judge me!) were my jam.  I read Timothy Zahn’s novels between classes in school. I wasn’t very popular, as you can imagine.  You nerdy kids today have it so easy!

So when Disney purchased Lucasfilm and announced that the whole Expanded Universe wasn’t canon in any way, shape, or form, I was crushed.

Fast forward a bit, and I watched The Force Awakens, and my opinion has changed.

While the characters I love may not exist in name anymore, many of their stories are set up to play out in the movies.  I am going to cover where I think the similarities lie, and maybe some of where they might be heading.  From here on out, there will be MAJOR SPOILERS for The Force Awakens (TFA) and the Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) games.  You have been warned.

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Still here?  Good. Let’s get into some references to the Expanded Universe.

So to start, Rey bears a pretty major resemblance to Bastila Shan from KOTOR, as well as her daughter Satele from SWTOR (Star Wars the Old Republic).  Coincidence?  Maybe.  Also take into account that they both use staff type weapons (Bastila uses a yellow bladed saberstaff).  Not only that, but Rey’s grey outfit at the end of TFA looks very similar to many old republic styled outfits.

Expanded Universe Bastila Shan KOTOR Rey The Force Awakens

There were some new Force powers introduced in TFA.  Remember when Kylo used the Force to stop Rey in place so he could capture and interrogate her?  That is called “Force Stasis”, and was introduced in KOTOR in a very similar way.  Darth Malak used the same move to capture Bastila Shan.  Kylo using the Force to interrogate Rey and Poe is also very similar to another KOTOR force power called “Mind Domination”.

Just like Rey in TFA, Bastila is captured by her Sith enemy and locked into a partially reclined torture device, and subjected to Dark Side probing.  Do these screenshots look familiar?

Expanded Universe Bastila Torture KOTOR Expanded Universe Bastila Torture KOTOR

When Finn and Rey meet, he intends to try and save her, but she saves herself, beating up a slew of attackers in the process with her staff.  This is very reminiscent of this scene in KOTOR (even a similar weapon!):

Expanded Universe Bastila saving herself KOTOR

Remember Finn and Rey having to escape a planetary attack in the Millennium Falcon?  Bastila and Revan have the same situation happen, except the ship is the Ebon Hawk instead of the Falcon.

The plots of TFA and KOTOR II both revolve around finding the last remaining Jedi by chasing down incomplete maps of the galaxy and following them into uncharted systems.  In TFA, the last Jedi was Luke who left the map with R2-D2, in KOTOR II it was Revan who left the map with T3-M4.

There are also some pretty large similarities between Revan and Kylo’s mask design.

kylo ren Expanded Universe Darth Revan KOTOR

That planet the Luke is on at the end of the movie could easily be Rakata Prime, which was a planet that was covered in ancient stone structures that are strong in the force, and was first mentioned in KOTOR.  Those stone structures could easily fit the bill for what Han says Luke is looking for. It just so happens that this planet was shown on the newest, official, canon map of the Star Wars galaxy.

Star wars Map

Speaking of planets from KOTOR, Malachor V is a planet introduced in KOTOR II that is full of ancient Sith temples and teeming with Dark Side energy.  In the visual dictionary released for The Force Awakens, Kylo’s saber is described as “an ancient design, dating back thousands of years to the Great Scourge of Malachor.”  The book is canon, as is Malachor now.

Visual Dictionary TFA

KOTOR had a super-weapon called the “Star Forge” that siphoned power from the sun, the same way that the Starkiller base did.

Pretty striking similarities, in my opinion.

So onto some speculation, because why not?

Maz Kanata mentions something about history repeating itself. Could Kylo’s more primitive clothing and weapon and Rey’s resemblance to Bastila be attributed to that?  Could history repeating itself be a reference to KOTOR’s story repeating itself?  Could Rey be from Bastila and Satele’s bloodline??!?!

I don’t think the mentions of Malachor and Rakata Prime are just nods to the fans.  I think that Snoke is probably living on Malachor, and that’s where he is summoning Kylo to to finish his training.

What do you think?  Coincidence?  Something more?  Did I miss some Expanded Universe references?  Will we see Rey wielding a yellow bladed saberstaff soon?   Let me know in the comments.

11 comments on The Force Awakens, a new hope for Expanded Universe Fans

  1. derreckmayer says:

    I definitely think they are borrowing these concepts and plot points. I know a lot of people are upset at Disney officially making the EU not canon but with so many books, games, etc. out there, they were backed into a corner on what they could and could not do. There were so many stories written and so many contradictions. This way, they can use the best parts of the EU to tell new stories and I think they did that in TFA.

    1. Kyle Sewalson says:

      I noticed some borrowing as well *spoiler* the true name of Kylo being Ben, clearly named after Obi Wan, is a lot like Luke’s son in the EU who is also named Ben. I was really excited to see that.

      1. Ryan says:

        I was personally hoping that his name would be Jacen. I never thought about the name Ben being an EU reference, I guess I figured he was named after Ben Kenobi. Interesting point thought, thanks. For the comment.

  2. Eric says:

    I have a suspicious feeling that the grave that Luke is standing over on Rakata Prime (Many sources are leaning towards that is indeed the planet) may infact be Mara Jade. It seems all to obvious that Rey is Luke’s daughter. If I am indeed right, then who is the mother. I say Mara Jade. It allows the inclusion of this great character, but at the same time, doesn’t really taint much of what exists in the EU…until Disney makes a movie about her. I am seeing a lot of nods to EU material in TFA. For example, the Starkiller planet thing…It seems to be a reference to the Star Forge from Knights of the Old Republic.

    As for Kylo Ren. I am thinking it is some sort of amalgamation of Ben (Ren) Solo (Kylo) and some other name.

    1. Ryan Couture says:

      I think that they will do a Mara jade type character in episode VIII, either through flashbacks or as a current character.

      I agree with the star killer/star Forge reference, it’s a brief mention in the article. Would have been great if they made a throwaway type reference in the movie saying that star killer was built from “ancient plans” or something along those lines.

      Thanks for the comment!

  3. Eric Collins says:

    The biggest EU connection I was Kylo Ren / Ben Solo matching up with Darth Caedus / Jacen Solo.

  4. SG says:

    Snoke has no permanent base of operations, preferring to contact his underlings from a mobile command post. http://www.starwars.com/databank/supreme-leader-snoke

    1. Ryan Couture says:

      Good to know. I still think it’s a bit too convenient that malachor is brought up, no doubt it will come into play at some point in the films.

  5. Anthony says:

    The Starkiller/Star Forge comparison is interesting. My first reaction was Centerpoint Station, but Star Forge works too. Unfortunately, Pablo Hidalgo has already confirmed Luke is not on Rakata Prime, so thats out the window, but Rakata Prime, Malachor, and a few other EU references now being canon is extremely exciting!

    1. Ryan Couture says:

      Sucks that Luke isn’t on Rakata prime, but I would think there would be some significance since they specifically added it to the map. Could just be a nod to the fans paying attention, but seems unlikely.

      Thanks for the comment!

  6. Angelo says:

    Its no coincidence they are making Drew Karpyshyn’s Kotor story and his Darth Bane novels canon. Its a great time to be a Star Wars fan.

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