As a longtime fan of the Star Wars franchise, I can’t help but reminisce about the days before Disney took over the IP. A time when there was a treasure of novels, videogames and comic books that wonderfully expanded upon pre-established Star Wars canon in creative and exciting ways. Before Disney took over declared all prior works to their new status quo as non-canon, or Star Wars Legends as they put it. Now, however, all we have are dull, uninspired remixes of the old films with the occasional plagiarised storyline. The plot for Rise of Skywalker was heavily inspired by the old Dark Empire comics. Look it up.
Well, if they’re going to rip off the works of more talented writers and artists, they might as well do it the right way. They should at the very least pick the good ones. Lucky for them, this giant, angry nerd here has curated some of the very best Legends stories and plots that could easily fill up an 8-seasons long TV series.
1. The History of the Mand’alors
As of now, Disney’s focus for the Star Wars franchise seems to be squarely locked onto one thing: Mandalore. Based on the trailer for the latest season of Clone Wars, we see that the impending war between Palpatine’s rising empire and the warrior people’s world is on its way. Disney has also found much popularity and success with The Mandalorian, which has done much to expand upon the Mandalorians’ history and warrior culture. It makes sense for Disney to strike while the iron is hot and create a prequel series that revolves around the leaders of the Mandalorian people and planet. An anthology series with each season chronicling the rise and fall of the Mand’alors.
Throughout Legends canon, many have taken up the mantle of Mand’alor and have shaped the galaxy in profound and powerful ways. One of the very first Mand’alors, Mandalore the Indomitable forged an alliance with the Sith of old to wage war against the Jedi Order and rule the galaxy. A female Mandalore, Shae Vizla as Mandalore the Avenger sacked the Jedi homeworld of Coruscant and laid waste to their hallowed temple. Then, there was Tarre Vizla, the first Mandalorian to have joined the Jedi Order and became his world’s first Force-sensitive Mand’alor. At some point during the Clone Wars series, even freaking Darth Maul took the title of Mand’alor for himself! If Disney could incorporate the Mand’alors of Legends canon with their current ones, they could have the makings of a truly groundbreaking space epic.
2. Vader’s Secret Apprentice: Galen Marek
Back in 2008, long before Disney got their mouse mittens on the Star Wars property, there was Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. An utter gem for both Star Wars fans and gamers. A game that truly allowed us to live out every single one of our deepest Force power fantasies. A game that expanded on the events between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope with fresh new characters and memorable icons of the Star Wars universe. This is the story of Galen Marek, a force-sensitive child raised and trained by none other than Darth Vader himself. His secret apprentice, assassin and weapon to overthrow the Emperor should the opportunity ever arise. A Force wielder so insanely powerful, his power could rival that of Vader’s.
Personally, I think a Galen Marek series would be an absolutely streaming service-seller for Disney+. One of the most iconic characters in Star Wars history is Darth Vader. Wouldn’t it be fascinating to see Vader secretly plot and scheme against his master with the help of a secret apprentice? It would be a great way to show us a more compassionate side of Vader as we see him bond with Marek. Galen Marek could be the one that sows the seeds of internal conflict within Vader. Torn between his dark desire to ascend the Imperial Throne and his deeper longing for human connection. Galen could either have been the one that strengthens Vader’s ruthless resolve or the catalyst that led him to redemption in Return of the Jedi.
3. The 501st Legion
Though we’ve seen the famed 501st Legion in the Star Wars: Clone Wars series and a number of times in Disney’s canon comics, I can’t help but feel that there is a missing side to their story. The story of how the Republic’s greatest and noblest defenders became the Empire’s most elite fighting force, earning the title of “Vader’s Fist”. The missing years in which Clone Troopers of yore transition into the now infamous Stormtroopers. A tale that Pandemic Studio’s 2005 Star Wars: Battlefront II single-player campaign has already told within the each of its many missions. Though the cutscenes between the acts were brief, narrator Temuera Morrison’s stellar voicework made every journal entry feel both personal and insightful.
Over Empire’s many years, former Clone Troopers of the Republic were forced to commit unspeakable atrocities in the name of their new emperor. Did any of them harbour traitorous thoughts of rebellion against their new masters? Did they ever clash with the new human recruits that would later replace their clone brethren? These are just some of the many burning questions begging to be answered. Disney’s renewal of the Clone Wars series proves that there is a market within the Star Wars community for Clone Trooper centred content. The next step following the finale of the Clone Wars series could definitely be an animated or live-action series following the Clone Stormtroopers of the 501st Legion. It’s time for Vader’s Fist to rise!
4. The Terror of the Yuuzhan Vong
In Legends continuity, there are things worse than the Sith and Stormtroopers lurking in the shadow of the Unknown Region. Nightmarish creatures that have laid waste to entire worlds with living ships and weapons of teeth and flesh. An alien race so repulsive, so vile and corrupt that the Force itself literally severed its connection with them. I am of course talking about the Yuuzhan Vong, a sentient species who find the concept of inorganic technology and artificial intelligence to be heretical. For weapons, they employ the use of eels that launch plasma from their jaws and living serpents that could become deadly staffs for close-range combat. In their strange and twisted minds, pain is seen as a blessing and they are more than willing to spread their gospel to an unsuspecting universe.
During the early days of the Clone Wars in Legends, Palpatine came to the knowledge of the coming Yuuzhan Vong invasion. When he finally rose to power, one of his first priority was to prepare the Imperial Navy to face this rising threat before it could threaten his empire. Throughout the Skywalker Saga, Palpatine has been portrayed to be somewhat of a one-dimensional bad guy. Perhaps his motivations for restructuring the Republic into a new unified Empire wasn’t entirely selfish. Perhaps there was a secret war raging beyond the Outer Rim that only the Emperor and select few knew about. A Disney+ series exploring the Emperor’s war against the Yuuzhan Wong would be an excellent way to add more depth and sympathy to his character.
5. The Fel Empire
For the longest time, the central conflict of the Star Wars universe has always been this simplistic dichotomy between the big, bad Empire and the plucky Rebel good guys. It’s time to let the past die and to finally do away with this reductionist perception. The Empire and the First Order are gone but that what comes after? We know in the new Star Wars trilogy that the New Republic was completely effectual before its destruction, so we definitely don’t want to see that. What I would like to see is a series revolving around the Fel Empire from Legends. Unlike Palpatine’s Galactic Empire and First Order, the Fel Empire is a completely different beast altogether.
Instead of aggressive military expansion, the Fel Empire believes in the concept of “Victory Without War”. Instead of violently subjugating the inhabitants of a planet, the empire would offer aid and infrastructure to win them over to their side. The leaders of the Fel Empire are still Force-sensitive emperors but the difference here is that every single one of them is aligned to the Light Side of the Force. The Fel Empire even has its own version of the Jedi Order known as the Imperial Knights. Force-sensitive warriors who are sworn to serve the emperor, but the moment they see him turn to the Dark Side, they have a duty to strike him down. Star Wars fans are tired of the same, old generic view of the Empire. A live-action TV series portraying a righteous and benevolent empire is a fresh take that could propel the franchise into new, exciting directions!