Now that a new Star Wars movie has been slated for release every year for the foreseeable future, it’s hard to remember back when official Star Wars features were few and far between. Nevertheless, there was once a time when fans were left to fill in the blanks themselves and, once they got a little help from some talented writers, artists, and video game developers, the Star Wars Expanded Universe was formally recognized.
Sadly, that’s all over now that Disney has declared all the existing Expanded Universe stories as non-canon. Not surprisingly, many fans were hit hard by this announcement knowing that some of their favorite characters and plot lines cease to exist or have been deemed irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. While there’s still a glimmer of hope that some of the old Expanded Universe material will make its way into the new movies, we can’t help but feel a little like Princess Leia when she watched the Death Star destroy her home planet of Alderaan.
Losses like this normally take years to get over, so, to help you in your grieving process, we’ve compiled this list of 10 things from the Star Wars Expanded Universe that will be sorely missed.
12. The Gray Jedi
The term Gray Jedi, sometimes referred to as Dark Jedi, had two meanings. It was first used by Jedi and Sith to describe Force-users who straddled the line between the light and dark side without adhering strictly to either. It later came to describe Jedi who had distanced themselves from the Jedi High Council and operated outside the strict rules of the Jedi code. But those who are considered to be true Gray Jedi meet both criteria and don’t feel compelled to carry on any particular Force tradition.
In the movies, once you turn to the dark side it seems almost impossible to come back, since its power twists and corrupts a person almost like a destructive drug addiction. The concept of the Gray Jedi introduced in the Expanded Universe created a new class of morally questionably Force-users who quickly became very popular with fans. Gray Jedi not only got a wider selection of lightsaber colors to choose from, they were essentially free agents in the battle for galactic supremacy—able to go wherever they pleased and lend their talents to whomever they wanted without sullying the Jedi or Sith codes.
Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan’s master from The Phantom Menace, was a notable renegade Jedi who likely would have been considered to be Gray by his superiors, but, since that classification no longer exists as canon, it would appear that the Jedi are now taking a page from the Sith rulebook and dealing only in absolutes.