Expanding Story Opportunities


Across the Expanded Universe we’ve had some great stories, and more to the point, we’ve had some great story opportunities arise over the years. But occasionally some of these potential stories never bear the literary fruit that they should. Sometimes it’s a throw-away line, or a reference in a Role Playing Game source-book, or an Essential Guide. No matter how it came to light, at the end of the day there are still some great stories waiting to be told! Here are just a few examples.

The Iron Knights

First appearing in works like Star Wars Missions 14: The Monsters of Dweem, the RPG supplement “Alien Encounters: The Shard“—Star Wars Adventure Journal 15, The New Essential Guide to Droids, Droids, Technology and the Force: A Clash of Phenomena (Hyperspace Article by Abel G. Peña), and the Jedi Academy Training Manuel, the Iron Knights, we learn were trained by the Sunesi Jedi Master Aqinos. Aqinos was later exiled from the Jedi Order for teaching these Force Sensitive Shard how to use the Force. And here I thought only Sith dealt in absolutes…

Now what is a Shard? Well the Shard are natives of the planet Orax, and are a silicon-based species. They appear as irregularly faceted cylindrical crystals varying in size, and can grow to about thirty or forty centimeters in length. Signals that indicated thoughts would pulse through them giving off a faint glow of light inside their bodies.(Think glowing crystals) The Shards were incapable of movement on their own, but somehow Aqinos figured out that they could be placed in special droid chassis if properly modified. Most notably he used Juggernaut war droids, FLTCH series droids, and Uulshos Justice droids models for their artificial bodies.

After Aqinos discovered Ilum, one of the first Force Sensitive Shards, he trained her and her twelve offspring in the ways of the Force. Their first presence on the Galactic Scene was almost their last; after coming to the aide of Jedi Master Mace Windu during the Arkanian Revolution in 50 BBY, The Jedi Council, was horrified upon learning that Aqinos had taught inorganic crystals about the Force, they felt that the Shard could not truly understand a concept like the Force. Aqinos was then excommunicated, taking his Iron Knights with him.

After hiding on the planet Deem for something like 70 years, the Iron Knights were once more discovered by the Jedi Order. Only this time it was Luke’s New Jedi Order, a group of students used clues that had been provided by Luke’s ex-girlfriend Callista Ming. The reaction to the discovery of the Iron Knights this time was a much more friendly and welcoming one. The Iron Knights were accepted into the New Jedi Order with open arms some time around 13 ABY when Luke Skywalker asked Aqinos and his Iron Knights to join his Order and help him rebuild the Jedi.

They would later even fight during the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, and were targeted with extreme prejudice by the Vong Warriors. After all; they were both Jeedia, AND Droid abominations!

The Iron Knights then have been in the background of events from the New Jedi Order on. Imagine these characters showing up in an arc of Invasion. (when it ever returns) Or if the New Jedi Order had more standalone novels set in the NJO time frame. (Hey… it COULD happen) These characters would have a intriguing story arc all to themselves. Heck even with the little we know now I’m impressed. One fell to the dark side during the war with the Yuuzhan Vong. A dark side using droid of chaos. But even with what we have been given, there is a story here that has never really been chronicled in a mainstream EU Novel. Yet.

Padawan Knights: Solo Twins- First Class

This next one we will try to tackle from a chronologist stand point. The Junior Jedi Knights series (about Anakin Solo and Tahiri Veila) is set around 22 ABY (After the Battle of Yavin), which is followed by Anakin’s older Twin siblings having their own series entitled Young Jedi Knights, which set around 23 ABY. While both series started in the year of 1995, the Young Jedi Knightseries was published in June and the Junior Jedi Knights followed in October. So while both projects were known, what wasn’t was WHEN exactly these two stories are set. They were close, but the timeline shows that they fell under different years. 22 and 23 ABY respectively. What is most notable for the use of this ponder is what can be found on the second page of Chapter One of the Junior Jedi Knights: The Golden Globe:

“When Anakin turned eleven years old his parents agreed it was time for him to attend the Jedi academy. Anakin showed too much ability to be kept at home. When Jaina and Jacen returned from their time at the academy, his parents agreed to send their younger son there to study. Leia wouldn’t have been able to bear sending all of her children to Yavin 4 at one time. She would have missed them too much. Jaina and Jacen had now returned. It was Anakin’s turn to leave.”

I’ve gone ahead and highlighted the parts of that passage that stand out to those paying attention to the grander picture of the EU timeline. Anakin being the youngest of the Solo children, it makes sense for him to be the last to go to the academy. The catch is that his series is also set before his older siblings own series of books. Meaning that Jacen and Jaina’s FIRST official attendance of the Academy has yet to be chronicled. For now we know it was NOT in Heirs of the Force. Even Heirs to the Force gives you the impression that the Twins had been there for long enough to have settled in. We just assumed that it was for that trip to the academy, now we learn that they have been their before attending. Who did they meet the first time? What did they do? Logically it stands to reason that there is story potential here waiting to be mined.

The FINAL Legacy

When the Star Wars: Legacy comic series ended at issue #50 many felt that couldn’t be the end of such a epic era. That too many plot-lines were left wide open and unresolved. When Dark Horse Comics later announced Legacy: War, many felt that their suspicions had been correct, and that they were getting one final arc to wrap up everything that had occurred in the comic series before. But one legacy was left behind. One legacy’s story was never satisfactorily wrapped up in the conclusion. One Legacy still needs told; that of Hondo Karr.

This Mandalorian Warrior-turned Imperial Stormtrooper-turned Rogue Squadron pilot-turned Mando-again had an interesting journey in the Legacy comics. in 127 ABY while fighting alongside his Mand’alor Chernan Ordo in the Battle of Botajef, Yaga Auchs, another Mando turned turncoat betrayed his Mando’ade. Left for dead, Karr took armor from a fallen Imperial Stormtrooper and impersonated an officer in the 407th Stormtrooper Division.

After joining up with Joker Squadron, a Stormtrooper unit in the 407th, Karr immediately noticed a savagery from the Sith commanders, most notably when Darth Maleval order’s Karr’s commanding officer to kill his own brother as a twisted test of loyalty. When Cassel refuses Darth Maleval executes both brothers. Karr becomes enraged, and makes an attempt to kill Maleval, unfortunately for Karr, Maleval is a Sith, and has full command of the Force. But more unfortunate for Maleval, Karr’s earned friends among Joker Squadron, and fellow Joker Anson Trask shoots Maleval in the back. Karr leaves, but since his fellow Jokers covered for him, the official reports indicate that Karr had died in the Battle of Borosk.

After this Karr found his way to the Galactic Alliance Remnant, and soon becomes a member of the infamous Rogue Squadron. After a series of successful missions as a Rogue, Karr leads a mission to smuggle Mon Calmari refugees from the planet Napdu. It’s here that he comes across his former wife, Tes Verec. After squaring things up with his wife, he decides to leave Rogue Squadron, and the two set off together to find and eliminate the new Mand’alor Yaga Auchs.

And that’s it. He appears in 4 issues, one issue shy of having his own arc. Further, his story was left out of the Legacy: War arc, and currently there are no plans to go forward past Legacy: War in the timeline. But as I just pointed out- there SHOULD BE.

Even if it’s a one shot.

When Jedi Orders Meet

This time we will look at a couple examples of the Old Jedi Order Jedi who meet up with Luke’s New Jedi Order, and the story potential therein. I’ve said for a while now that one of my favorite EU Characters is the mighty K’kruhk, and like him, there are a couple other Jedi who have made appearances in the Legacy comics’ end of the timeline, even if they’ve not made it into the books yet. And then there is that case of the one Jedi whose meeting of the New Jedi Order has already happened, as chronicled in the series of the same name. (NJO)

Lets start there, and work back. Vergere. The one time Jedi, and later one of the biggest scapegoats ever presented, in an attempt to justify Jacen Solo‘s corruption, all happening off page. The only thing in the books we have to go on is a Sith’s truth… And we know how far we can trust a Sith… Talk about a character who went so wide of what was presented, we NEED a book to make her make sense again! I know many who would cringe at the mention of her name. Others who wish she’d have been more that what we originally saw in the NJO books. No matter what; there is potential for more character development as well as a great tale!

Now recently Star Wars: The Essential Reader’s Companion mentioned that Author Troy Denning had created a 27 page outline entitled The Vergere Compendium in preparation of the Legacy of the Force story. It outlines Vergere’s master plan to transform Jacen into a Sith. It even has explanations of all her previous appearances with detailed commentary on her overt actions and subtle implications

What it doesn’t do however is come across well in the story, what we get leaves fans of the book Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Traitor feeling the characters they love have been drastically changed. It has left many fans feeling like she was retconed into a Sith just to justify Jacen’s fall. Many fans would love to see this Compendium, and see if Denning made more sense out of Vergere’s past than what came across in the Legacy of the Force series. If that can’t be done, perhaps a back story set after Rogue Planet, but before Invasion/ the New Jedi Order where we see things from HER point of view. Again, there is PLENTY of her life unchronicled that could add new depth to series and characters as back story alone.

That said, lets go back to K’kruhk.

Ahhh K’kruhk.
Everybody loves K’Kruhk, right?
Well you should!
K’kruhk shows up in comics like Jedi Council: Acts of War, Jedi: Mace Windu, and even on Clone Wars television show on Cartoon Network. (George’s first round of Clone Wars) Yep, that Whipid Jedi who went up against the Droid General… K’Kruhk. (Force help me, I my be addicted to saying his name.)

It was K’Kruhk who Grevious killed-but-did-not-kill near the end of the shows run. But we learn that Whipids are harder to kill than previously imagined. K’Kruhk was in a near death like coma. Something his species can do, but isn’t that well known apparently. This allows for him to  show up again in the comic Dark Times second arc. He will soon return as well, it has been reported that he will be in Dark Times most recent arc. When last seen in that comic he had taken a group of Padawan and disappeared, leaving only speculation of his groups survival and possible joining Luke’s Orders ranks someday. But after this, his appearances in Dark Times, he disappears in the EU. We only see him resurface again in the Legacy comic series, now as a member of the Jedi High Council. All we know is that some time near the end or after the Yuuzhan Vong War he returned to the Order.

So that means that from Dark Nest on, K’Kruhk should be a member of Luke’s Order. And yet aside from small references to him in Labyrinth of Evil, Revenge of the Sith,Order 66, and Imperial Commando 501st we’ve not seen him in a single book. His time has come!

In the same light as K’Kruhk, comes the Neti Jedi Master T’ra Saa.

Having survived the Jedi Purge with Masters Tholme and Vos on Kashyyyk, not much is know about this ancient Jedi Master. All we know is that some point she came out of hiding, and too became a member of the Jedi High Council in the Legacy comic era. She was also said to have taken root for a time on the planet Anzat where Tholme was laid to rest. After reading about the Sith Neti Librarian Dail’Liss in Star Wars: Red Harvest, the root system of the Neti, and how that works have been something I ponder from time to time. Imagine how fascinating a story about Master T’ra’s exile, and later return to the rank of the Jedi would be.

But let’s not forget the most consequential figure to come from the Legacy story. The founder, and leader of the One Sith. The man who was cursed to become a Yuuzhan Vong beast, but found a way around it, YOUR Sith Emperor, the One and only; Darth Krayt. Or as he was once known; A’Sharad Hett.

Woah, hold up.

Yes, A’Sharad Hett, son of Legendary Jedi Master Sharad Hett, and distinguished Jedi Knight in his own right. Brought into the Jedi Order at an age greater than that of Anakin Skywalker, and around the same time Anakin joined the Order no less. Hett’s turbulent past often put him at odds with many Jedi. Most notably; young Anakin Skywalker.

But yes, it was Hett, the same young Hett, who had fought alongside Masters K’Kruhk, and Quinlan Vos at the Siege of Saleucami, and who would later go up against one “Ben” Kenobi on the planet Tatooine, it was he who had fashioned the Sith into a weapon aimed once more at the Jedi, then at the galaxy at large.

Hett’s story, like so many Jedi before him, turns tragic as he falls from grace. After escaping Order 66 and going back to Tatooine and his Tusken Raider (Sandpeople) roots, he is later confronted by Obi-Wan Kenobi, now going by the name of “Ben” Kenobi, and unknown to Hett, secretly watching over a young Luke Skywalker from a distance. (as seen in Legacy #16)When Hett’s Raiders start making advancements against the Moisture Farmers and settlements of Tatooine, Kenobi approaches him, and tells him that Hett has to stop harassing the settlers and to personally leave the planet and never return. Hett’s not going to go without a fight, and fight they do. After a very ferocious fight, a now shamed and slightly less limbed Hett departs, in exile once again, making good on his promise to Kenobi that he would never again return to Tatooine. He would, however, later become a bounty hunter, using his Force skills for a different purpose. (as seen in Legacy #17) Tracking down one target leads him to Korriban,when his mark discovers he is a fugitive Jedi, he leaves Hett only one option in the dead or alive scenario. After the dastardly deed was accomplished a voice calls out to Hett, and he goes deeper into the Sith Tomb of XoXaan, one of the fallen Jedi who first dominated the Sith. She recognizes in Hett a being who is more like her when she was alive, and offers to train him in the ways of what it meant to be a Sith.

Hett Apprenticing himself to Xoxaan’s Sith Spirit

But even after XoXaan’s tutelage in the dark side, Hett only had considered himself a Sith Acolyte and after he left Korriban with what he saw as new skills, he learned that the Emperor had already been defeated by Skywalker. He then decided to take off to the Unknown Regions. A huge mistake, for this would eventually lead to his being captured by the Yuuzhan Vong, the extragalactic, techno fearing, biotech using, can’t feel them in the Force, bad guys of the New Jedi Order series, as they begin their invasion of the galaxy. After capture, Hett’s cybernetic arm- the replacement for the arm he had lost in the fight with Kenobi- had been replaced by some Yuuzhan Vong organic arm that allowed him to feel additional pain. While their prisoner, he was placed in an Embrace of Pain, a Yuuzhan Vong device used to torture its victims, he was even experimented on.

But then one day he felt through the Force someone approach. A sensation that was so suddenly foreign to him in the presence of the Yuuzhan Vong and their bio-technology he was shocked to RECOGNIZE the strange visitor.   And thus began his training by the “Secret Sith” Vergere. (as seen in Legacy #18) We see here his accounts of her telling him of her training as a Sith under Palpatine himself, and how like she would later do to Jacen Solo, teached him to embrace his pain to open the dark side to him. This is when he has his vision of the One Sith. It soon becomes clear that Vergere is a tenant of Darth Bane‘s Rule of Two, and when Hett makes it clear that he plans to do as Bane, and reform the Sith as many, but ONE, with their Order above all. “Power magnified by it’s focus.”

Vergere sees that they walk two different paths. (she apparently is waiting for Jacen to be her disciple) She does mention that perhaps she would share his philosophies with whomever her disciple turns out to be. (*Coughs: Jacen-Jacen*)

Vergere attends to a captured Hett

When Hett gets free, he now has a new vision of how the galaxy should be, under his rule of One: the One Sith. Heading back to Korriban as Darth Krayt, and with his vision like that of Darth Bane; to remake the Sith in his new image. He would eventually take his One Sith on to conquer the galaxy and almost wipe out the Jedi once again. But one interesting side note is that as the Vong coral seeds take over his body, Krayt would go into stasis to heal. His mind though remained open; hence he was able to stay in contact with his closest disciples. And perhaps how he was able to come to the aide of Luke Skywalker in Beyond Shadows. (as almost seen in Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse, but confirmed in The Essential Reader Companion)

How the Legacy of the Force and later Fate of the Jedi series utilized (or didn’t utilize depending on your point of view) the One Sith works well to keep the story options wide open. Darth Krayt would build an Empire to rival Darth Sidious, and it would be in hiding as Vergere and Lumiya‘s student Darth Caedus brought the Sith line of the Rule of Two to a dramatic end at the hands of the Sword of the Jedi, his own twin sister Jaina Solo. As well as remain hidden throughout the Jedi’s conflicts with the Lost Tribe of the Sith. (as seen in Legacy of the Force)

So Krayt’s still got a story or four to tell, and like Darth Bane before him, I think that the evolution of Darth Krayt’s character would make for a fascinating read. Take Darth Plagueis for example; Sith stories sell!

So there you have it, just a few of the many examples I have in store for you! We’ll continue along the path of stories not yet taken next time, as we continue our adventure into the Expanded Universe!

Mark “The Defender of the EU” Hurliman

I’m one of the Founders of this place, as well as a Host on its Podcasts: The Star Wars Report, and Star Wars Beyond the Films. A fan of all things Geek, and a genuine Friendly Neighborhood Spider-man kind of guy, I’m a self proclaimed Uber-Geek and PROUD of it. Just don’t quote me the odds.

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  • Zarm

    Awesome blog. While I agree with you in the missed-opportunities principle, though, I am more than happy for them to keep Luke’s order from being polluted by any of the Prequel Jedi Order nonsense (even a member of it as awesome as K’kruhk.) The Iron Knights, sure- the enemy of the prequel Jedi is my ally. :-)

    In a future installment, you gonna do Otherspace? Man, is THAT an unexplored storyline- who needs Death Troopers when you got the charon, the ORIGINAL Star Wars horror crew?

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