Although Rogue One is the biggest Star Wars news of the year, it’s not the only battle far, far away. The Hollywood Reporter recently published a feature exploring the rest of the year in Star Wars.
It’s a rundown of what’s been happening in the comics and animation, as well as in Rogue One itself.
The Hollywood Reporter is the very definition of “mainstream entertainment news”. It’s wonderful to see the publication take the non-canonical “Legends” properties seriously.
Star Wars Legends
Formerly known as the Expanded Universe, Star Wars Legends encompasses pretty much everything in a certain galaxy far, far away that isn’t a feature film.
There are well over 100 Star Wars books. They include reference books about the films themselves, reference books about the fictional technology depicted therein, and dozens and dozens of novelizations and completely original works.
That last category explores every piece of the rich Star Wars universe. It inspired by just about every single planet, alien species, character, and technological gizmo that ever appeared onscreen.
Lately, Lucasfilm and Disney have been much more open about taking inspiration from Legends, not just allowing the Legends to take inspiration from the films.
Kyber crystals, which power Jedi lightsabers as well as the Death Star’s planet-shattering main cannon, came from Legends. They were first mentioned by name in “The Gathering”, an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Before that, crystals were mentioned in Knights of the Old Republic, as well as scores of other novels and games.
Rogue One’s story centers around Kyber crystals. The Empire is present at Jedah to strip the Jedi Temple of crystals, and Jyn Erso wears one on a necklace. That’s not the most dramatic piece of Legends in Rogue One, though.
Saw Gerrera, the brutal Rebel guerrilla who raised Jyn after her parents were killed, was originally depicted in The Clone Wars. The character was much younger in those days, and was voice acted by Andrew Kishino. He’s been in the voice acting business since 2004, and has quickly made a name for himself with roles on video games like Saints Row and Halo 5, as well as animated projects like Batman: The Killing Joke and G. I. Joe: Renegades.
Saw will return in the next season of Star Wars Rebels, voiced by none other than Forest Whitaker, who played him in Rogue One. An Oscar-winning actor playing a role on a Star Wars cartoon is nothing short of amazing, and it’s all due to Disney’s embrace of Legends as a legitimate source of inspiration and creativity.
Exploring the Star Wars Rebels Finale
The Hollywood Reporter features recaps of what’s been happening in the Star Wars Legends this year, including the very popular Darth Vader comic series from Marvel.
For voice acting fans, the Star Wars Rebels bit is the highlight. It features a very long, very detailed video recapping that amazing finale. A lot of different things had to come together in the writing room and voice over booth to make it happen, but the effort paid off.
The confrontation between Ahsoka Tano and Darth Vader brings closure to the story of one of the most beloved Legends characters. Anakin’s wayward apprentice went into hiding when Order 66 was carried out, destroying most of the Jedi order.
As we know from the movies, at least Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi survived. As we know from Rogue One, at least one temple and its guardians were left untouched.
And thanks to Star Wars Rebels, we know that Ahsoka Tano of Star Wars: The Clone Wars was able to escape as well. Until now.
Her final showdown with Darth Vader includes the moment that many fans wished for, that Tano would recognize Vader for what he is: a corruption of her old master. Ashley Eckstein reprises her voice role as Ahsoka, and James Earl Jones returns to voice Darth Vader once again.
If you’re a Star Wars fan just getting into Rebels (like this writer!), you have to give the video a watch.
Check it out below.