Over the course of three days, Star Wars rocked the ExCel London for Star Wars Celebration. Thousands of visitors poured into London’s Docklands to celebrate Star Wars and to hopefully discover what was next for the ever-growing franchise from a new Rogue One trailer to the latest downloadable content for Battlefront. During the event, it was announced that Grand Admiral Thrawn will be making his Canon debut in Season 3 of Star Wars Rebels. Thrawn’s inclusion in Rebels is the latest in a long line of references to Star Wars Legends material that was decanonised as part of the official Star Wars storyline in 2014.
Legends Never Die
But Star Wars fans have kept characters from Legends in their hearts regardless of Lucasfilm’s decision to remove thirty-odd years worth of storytelling from the official continuity. Many fans were dressed as their favorite film characters. Han Solo, Leia Organa, and Luke Skywalker. The Rey cosplayers were out in Force (pun totally intended), and everywhere you looked there were stormtroopers, clonetroopers, Rebel pilots and Jedi as far as the eye could see. There were even some Jyn Erso’s floating about.
But amidst the sea of Canon characters were the fans dressed in a myriad of costumes drawn from the Legends continuity. Most obvious were the Mandalorians, whose practices and warrior culture were defined in Legends content. Revans – the mysterious Jedi-turned-Sith-turned-Jedi (maybe) – stood shoulder to shoulder with Darth Vaders while Darth Nihilus’s looked on from afar. Scores of characters from every era were represented: Jarael and Lucien Draay from the Knights of the Old Republic comics to Imperial Knights from the Legacy comics. There were Mara Jades in a variety of costumes drawn from her appearances over the years. And striding through them all was the man of the hour (possibly the entire weekend): those dressed in the stark white uniform of Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Star Wars Legends may not be official canon anymore but one thing is clear. Star Wars fans will never forget the characters they grew up with and will keep them alive for years to come. Characters may be recanonised as the new material is produced, but it is the fans first and foremost who are keeping their heroes in their hearts.
Truly, Legends never really die.