"…we're inspired by the comics and the books…"
George Lucas[src]

C-canon elements from licensed Expanded Universe (EU) creators have appeared in the Star Wars films, mainly the prequel trilogy. Most of these are brief appearances, almost taking the form of Easter eggs, and are even hardly distinguishable. However, others are more substantial.

The prequel trilogy also has many references to names and elements introduced in the television series Star Wars Droids due to Ben Burtt's large involvement in both, not the least of which is the cameo by himself as Ebenn Q3 Baobab in The Phantom Menace.

The reverse process is also true: many Expanded Universe works have given names and/or background information to nearly every element shown in the films. Additionally, the Visual Dictionary series, along with other official sources such as "What's The Story?," has also introduced many retcons, thus "creating" C-canon depictions in films—e.g. the Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith: The Visual Dictionary identifies Count Dooku's tunic in Revenge of the Sith as being created on Vjun, a planet found heretofore strictly in the EU. The significance of these identifications, for the most part, is downplayed in this article.

After the reboot of 2014, EU material has been harvested for use in the new continuity, and films including Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens borrow Legends material.

Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace[]

Baobab at the celebrations following the Battle of Naboo

Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones[]

The painting by Jon Foster that secured Aayla's place in the Star Wars saga

The apocryphal ending of Jedi Knight

Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith[]

A scene familiar to gamers appears for the first time in a film

Revenge of the Sith has several elements that first appeared in Legends sources, such as Labyrinth of Evil, that were written during the movie's production. However, since those sources borrowed those elements directly from the finished post-production movie script (for example, General Grievous was written for the film but first appeared in Star Wars: Clone Wars), they are not included.

A battle during the Great Hyperspace War, depicted in a frieze kept in Supreme Chancellor Palpatine's chambers

Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope[]

The Outrider (upper left) taking off from Mos Eisley

  • Swoop bikes new for the film, were redesigned and added to the Shadows of the Empire. In the Special Edition scenes added to A New Hope, a swoop bike scares a ronto.
  • The Outrider (and with it, YT-2400 light freighters generally) were added to a scene in the Special Edition. It is seen from a distance lifting off from Mos Eisley.
  • ASP-series droid, had appeared in Shadows of the Empire.
  • Yet another addition to Shadows of the Empire is the appearance of the Sentinel-class landing craft seen in the new dewback scene as well as above Mos Eisley.
  • The tractor beam characters were changed from English to Aurebesh for the 2004 DVD Edition. Of note is the fact that the Aurebesh had appared in original releases of the original trilogy (i.e. the clearance code screen for Tydirium in Return of the Jedi) is made up of nonsense characters. West End Games created a 'translation" to English letters for Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game based on what had appeared onscreen. When using these newly assigned equivalents, most of the original trilogy Aurebesh remains unintelligible; however, in the prequel trilogy and a few remastered original trilogy examples, it has an actual meaning.
  • It is not known if the following were intentional EU references, or were later retcons, coincidences, or EU extrapolations:
  • In the Star Wars video game, Boba Fett is shown as being present on Mos Eisely. In the 1997 Special Edition, Boba Fett was newly added into a scene taking place in nearly the same location, confirming the character's presence on the planet at this time.

Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back[]

  • Boba Fett, who first appeared in the Holiday Special in 1978, plays a major role as the individual who finds the Millennium Falcon. However, the Holiday Special was written by Lucas himself, and the character of Fett was designed for Empire, but revealed to the public through the Holiday Special, much like with Grievous some twenty-six years later.
  • Obi-Wan's dialogue to Luke on Dagobah references a scene in Splinter of the Mind's Eye. He tells Luke that if he goes after Vader alone, "I cannot interfere," a line that causes Yoda's eyes to widen and Luke to nearly rethink this plan. The only time in the Star Wars saga that Obi-Wan literally interfered (he only gave Luke advice in A New Hope) was when Vader confronted Luke at the end of Splinter of the Mind's Eye, during which Obi-Wan took over Luke's body to ensure the Dark Lord's defeat.
  • A similar title, The Empire Strikes, had been used for the December 1978 issue of the Marvel Star Wars series.

Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi[]

  • The Theelin, in the person of Rystáll Sant in the Special Edition. The Theelin had first appeared in Star Wars: Dark Empire.
  • Boba Fett's rope weapon and jetpack had originally appeared in the Holiday Special.
  • A beard was added to Crix Madine's costume when it was realized that Kenner was designing the toy with a beard.

Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens[]

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story[]

Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi[]

Solo: A Star Wars Story[]

Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker[]

  • It's not known whether this was a coincidence or not, but the story of Darth Sidious' resurrection after his first death during the Battle of Endor seems to borrow some elements from the Star Wars: Dark Empire comic book series:
    • After resurfacing from the dead, Sidious organizes a Sith fleet to further his galactic conquest when time comes. This seems to have been inspired by the Katana fleet, which is also comprised of a massive amount of Imperial ships stored away in a far off corner of the galaxy.
    • Another possible nod to the story is that Supreme Leader Snoke is shown to have been an artificial humanoid being who had many clone bodies stored by Sidious, similarly to how Sidious had many clone bodies to sustain himself so he could rule the galaxy in the comic book. Perhaps as a reference to the comic series; the concept of cloning his original body, later confirmed in the novelization, is briefly brought up for Palpatine's return.
    • The Sith Eternal and the Final Order, two organizations lead by Sidious to reconquer the galaxy are similar to the Dark Empire, a regime which Palpatine intended to use to reconquer the galaxy. Likewise, the Dark Empire shows Sidious no longer hiding his affiliation with the Sith.
    • The Knights of Ren, a group of dark-side users which serve the resurrected Darth Sidious, are similar to the Dark Jedi body called the Dark Side Elite, founded by the reborn Sidious as part of the Dark Empire. Similarly, the Dark Side Elite and the Knights of Ren serve Sidious' new regime and consist of seven members each.
    • The Sith Sovereign Protectors which serve as Darth Sidious' new royal guard appear to be at least partly based off of the Imperial Sovereign Protectors of the Royal Guard.
    • The Sith Eternal cult's role in the Final Order mirrors that of the role the Prophets of the Dark Side cult had in the Galactic Empire, as does their role as servants of Darth Sidious.
    • Exegol, the capital of the Sith Eternal/Final Order in the Unknown Regions resembles Byss which served as the seat of power for the Dark Empire complete with both planets having a blue hue and strong in the Dark side of the Force.
    • In both cases, Sidious claimed ultimate authority over the entire dark side only to see his own powers fatally redirected against him by opponent. In the Dark Empire, Sidious claimed himself to be the dark side itself and spawned a Force storm, but Luke and Leia used Force harmony to sever his Force connection, which made the storm rogue and it turned against Sidious' own flagship, resulting in death of Sidious' current clone body. In The Rise of Skywalker, Sidious claimed himself to be all the Sith shortly before Rey redirected his own massive torrent of Force lightning back to the Dark Lord, to the same effect.
  • Besides Dark Empire, the Final Order/Sith Eternal including their military, the Knights of Ren and their home planet of Exegol resemble the Eternal Empire from Star Wars: The Old Republic including their own military, the Knights of Zakuul and their homeworld of Zakuul. Both empires are also based in the Unknown Regions and ruled by a Sith Emperor (Sheev Palpatine/Darth Sidious and Vitiate/Valkorion) who can transfer their conscience from one body to another and launched their attempted conquests on the galaxy during the later stages of a major conflict (Galactic War and the First Order-Resistance War).
  • The Xyston-class Star Destroyers of the Sith Eternal fleet, armed with planet-destroying axial superlasers, bear some resemblance to the Legends' Conqueror, an Imperial-class Star Destroyer armed with superlaser purpoted to destroy planets.
  • The way in which Darth Sidious pulled the strings behind Supreme Leader Snoke may have been a reference as well to how Onimi pulled the strings behind Supreme Overlord Shimraa Jamaane during the Yuuzhan Vong War in the Legends continuity.
  • C-3PO questioning whether there's an afterlife for droids might be a reference to his philosophical story arc in the Star Wars: The New Jedi Order novel The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial.
  • Although it was mentioned in the novel Aftermath: Life Debt that Emperor Palpatine had no known family, the film reveals that Rey belongs to the Palpatine family, from which the only survivors are Palpatine himself and Rey. In the novel Darth Plagueis, Darth Plagueis manipulated Palpatine into killing his family.
  • Emperor Palpatine is revealed to have sired a son named Dathan. In the Legends continuity, Palpatine was the father of Triclops, a mutant slave who was supposedly the result of Palpatine's relationship with Sly Moore.
    • Likewise, both canon and Legends contiunities involve Sidious' grandchild becoming a Jedi apprentice of Luke Skywalker. In the Jedi Prince series Ken, son of Triclops, became an apprentice to Luke Skywalker, and was long unaware of his lineage. Much like Rey, he was terrified of it when learning the truth, and so deemed himself born of evil and thus unworthy to join the Rebel Alliance, but was reassured by his Jedi Master, who told him that he could be a force for good.
  • While not known if an homage or a coincidence, the appearance of "Empress Palpatine" (which Rey imagines as herself if she falls to the dark side of the Force) resembles that of Eternal Empress Vaylin from Star Wars: The Old Republic.
  • Sidious inciting Rey to strike him down so he can transfer his spirit into her and rule together may be a reference to the transfer essence power which was used, or intended to be used successfully, by multiple Sith Lords in the Legends continuity, including Emperors Palpatine and Vitiate/Valkorion.
    • Likewise, Sidious' plot to take over Rey may have been inspired by Cronal's scheme in the novel Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, where Cronal intended to do the same to Luke Skywalker, aside that the Sith Citadel throne room shares a heavy resemblance to Cronal's Shadow Throne.
    • Sidious' ostentible promise to Rey, that after killing him she would be in charge of his immense fleet and, thereby, able to save her friends from the imminent destruction, might be inspired by the closing days of the Legends' continuity war against Zakuul, in which the Commander of the Eternal Alliance had to take the Eternal Throne to pacify the Eternal Fleet and thereby stop its reactivated original program of exterminating everything in the galaxy. In both cases, implicit posession-related Sith trap was present: had Rey completed the ritual her body would be seized by Darth Sidious, and the Alliance Commander's body was almost seized by the Emperor Valkorion, who attempted to wipe the Commander's consciousness from it immediately after the Commander sat onto the Eternal Throne.
  • Lando Calrissian summoning a massive fleet of civilian volunteers with the Citizens' Fleet is similar to the emergency evac fleet that assisted the Galactic Alliance Remnant in the 47th issue of the Star Wars: Legacy comic series. Like the citizen's fleet, the emergency evac fleet was made up of several vehicles from previous Star Wars stories and opposed a genocide led by Sith-Imperial forces.
  • Rey's confrontation against Darth Sidious bears some resemblance to Sidious' confrontation against Galen Marek in the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game, as both confrontations involved the use of Force lightning.

Notes and references[]

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