Wiki Headlines
We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here.

main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Recap: Star Wars Expanded Universe
This page is exclusively about Star Wars Legends content, comprised of material made before Disney gave the entire Expanded Universe a Continuity Reboot. If you want information about the new EU, look here.

    open/close all folders 


    Comic Books 

    Animated Shows 

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 


Canon Policy

Over the years what counts as canon for Star Wars has been made extremely difficult due to the size of the expanded universe (made no better by George Lucas making a special edition every year or so). However a very loose system as to what makes up the overall canon was created by Leland Chee, a Star Wars expert hired by George to keep track of everything Star Wars. Before the events of April 2014, the levels of continuity were:

Tropes used throughout Star Wars Legends:

  • Absurdly Dedicated Worker: Played for Laughs in The Essential Guide to Droids. The tech book tells an anecdote where a binary load-lifter, a barely sentient droid that amounts to a forklift with legs, continued to stack boxes on a section of floor despite increasing signs that it was about to give way. After it collapsed onto the floor below, the load lifter just got back up and went to get more boxes.
  • Abusive Precursors: The Rakata. The Ancient Sith Empire might also qualify, at least from the perspective of most of the later eras.
  • Academy of Evil: The Shadow Academy.
    • Any grounds of Sith teachings qualifies, like the Korriban Academy or Trayus Academy.
  • Advantage Ball: Any practitioner of Battle Meditation. Bastilla Shan, Nomi Sunrider and Darth Sidious are notable examples.
  • Aerial Canyon Chase: The Star Wars Expanded Universe loves this in general. If a book has "X-Wing" in the title (and even occasionally if it doesn't), expect there to be at least one of some sort. X-Wings are actually somewhat slower and less maneuverable than TIE fighters, but there are a few reasons why the canyon trick can work. TIE fighters, with those wings, have greater air resistance, and those pilots who haven't trained in atmosphere often don't compensate for that. And an X-Wing can turn on its side and use its targeting computer to get through a gap only a handful of meters wide, while TIE fighters are almost as wide as they are tall. As Iron Fist showed, a TIE interceptor can pull off a similar maneuver due to it having a narrower profile than a TIE fighter.
  • Alchemy Is Magic: Notably with Sith Lords using Sith Alchemy. Exar Kun, Darth Zannah and Darth Sidious are three famous practitioners.
  • Alternate Continuity: As of April 25, 2014, the entire thing (particularly EU stuff set after Return of the Jedi), compared to the films (The 3D Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series is still considered canon, though).
  • The Alternet: Some works feature something called the Commnet. More prevalent is the Holonet, a system of Subspace Ansibles that allow real-time holographic communication across the galaxy.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Darth Revan in the first Knights of the Old Republic game.
  • Anti-Human Alliance: The Diversity Alliance in the Young Jedi Knights series. Its leader is the sister of Oola (the slave Jabba fed to the rancor in Return of the Jedi) and its formation was motivated by the extreme anti-alien attitudes of the Empire.
  • Anti-Magic: Ysalamiri actually void the Force in a vicinity about them. This makes Force users much more vulnerable in their presence. However their rareness and how hard they are to transport them stop them being a convenient countermeasure.
  • Anything That Moves: Zeltrons seem to live and breathe this trope, to the point that it might be considered a cornerstone of their culture...
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The Orinda Campaign, spoken of in The Essential Guide to Warfare, where the Imperials under Pellaeon actually managed to take some territory back from the New Republic, and kept hold of it until the war ended about five years later. Note that "Bad Guy" here = "Antagonist", since Pellaon's actually a pretty nice guy.
  • Badass Normal:
    • Han Solo is one of Star Wars' best example.
    • Boba Fett has certainly earned himself a reputation as a badass. The man took on Darth Vader and did better than most Jedi (mostly because he survived intact). Boba has badass dialogue at times as well.
      "I swear by the soul I don't have, I am going to kill you."
      "Here's the deal. You break her heart, I break your legs." ―Boba Fett to Ghes Orade, on Orade's relationship with Fett's granddaughter, Mirta Gev.
    • Wedge Antilles - Only pilot in the universe to survive BOTH Death Star runs... and still kicking 25+ years later. Per the Jedi Academy Trilogy, explicitly not Force-sensitive, and yet widely considered the finest fighter pilot in galactic history.
  • Badass Grandpa: Numerous examples, particularly when you start dealing with the fact that classic Star Wars characters are aging.
  • Bad Black Barf: Mnggal-Mnggal zombies drool and vomit dark gray goo. Worse, the goo is in fact Mnggal-Mnggal itself, and it can go on to infect the new victims.
  • Bald Women: Asajj Ventress
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Darth Vader's armor being able to protect him in the void of space is a fairly consistent ability (Fitting, as the armor exists in the first place because early drafts of A New Hope had him enter the Tantive IV on "foot", through space). There are also the rare research flubs where characters are shown piloting TIE ships without the trademark TIE Pilot suit.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: Jacen Solo went from a compassionate Jedi Knight to a pitiless Sith Lord. Anakin Solo was originally planned to venture to the dark side, but he was killed off instead.
  • Begone Bribe: According to ''The New Essential Guide to Characters", Jar Jar Binks once found employment as a shudderup musician; people pay to shut 'em up.
  • Big Bad: Several, primarily stemming from Sith Lords, but others carry on the role as well.
    • The original galactic Big Bads were the Rakatan Infinite Empire, a race of powerful dark side-using Abusive Precursors who are long gone during most of galactic history, but are basically the spiritual predecessors of the Sith. Oh, and they're alive and well during the Dawn of the Jedi comics, the earliest chronological works in the EU.
    • The first major Sith Big Bad is the prototypical Dark Lord, Naga Sadow, ruler of the original Sith Empire during their very first major conflict with the Jedi Order. He's not the first Sith Lord- not by a mile- and several other Sith from his era would cause problems for the galaxy- but he is the first one from the original Sith Empire to declare war on the Republic.
    • Fascinated by forbidden, Dark Side-laden teachings, Exar Kun would rise to become the second major (though self-proclaimed) Dark Lord to wage war against the Republic and the Order, as leader of the Brotherhood of the Sith (with allies in the Krath cult and the Mandalorians).
    • Although tempting to say "If it isn't a Sith, it's a Mandalorian", the only Mandalore that really earned being called a Big Bad is Mandalore the Ultimate. The last known Taung (original Mando species) to claim the title, Mandalore the Ultimate re-consolidated the clans under the Neo-Crusader banner and fought against the Republic in the Mandalorian Wars.
    • Formerly curious Jedi Knights, Revan and Malak came to be known as dreaded Dark Lords, and led their original Sith Empire (founded from splinter Republic armies) during the Jedi Civil War.
    • Following the Civil Wars' end, Darth Traya, Darth Nihilus and Darth Sion were the three Dark lords responsible for nearly driving the already-crippled Jedi order onto the brink of extinction, particularly during the second game of Knights of the Old Republic.
    • The Sith Emperor commanded The Remnant from Sadow's empire, rebuilding that civilization for over a thousand years, before finally launching an attack on the Republic and the Order around 3600 years prior to the movies. In his bid for revenge, he was also the one that spurred the Mandalorians into waging war against the Republic, as well as persuading Revan and Malak into doing the same. His attack sets off the Great Galactic War, which lasts 28 years and results in a stalemate, leading to a lengthy Cold War. By this point, The Sith Emperor has become a Bigger Bad and left running The Empire to his Dark Council.
    • Eventually, the Sith Empire finally collapses and the Republic enjoys a period of relative peace....until one Jedi Master Phanius underwent a Face-Heel Turn, abandoned the Jedi Order and united the surviving Sith remnants into a New Sith Empire under the name Darth Ruin. Ruin is defeated, but his actions set off the New Sith Wars, a Big Bad Shuffle which last a thousand years and sees a succession of Sith Lords and Sith Orders waging a series of violent and costly wars on the Republic, notable ones being Dark Underlord, Darth Rivan, and Belia Darzu. All are defeated, but both the Republic and the Jedi are left shadows of their former selves.
    • The Sith, however, are not much better off and devolve into an Enemy Civil War that only ends with the formation of the Brotherhood of Darkness, led by one Lord Kaan, who struggles to keep the Sith from devolving back into infighting while both the Republic and the Jedi manage to rebuild themselves and their strength and move to take out the threat. Eventually Kaan is duped into killing them all, including himself unintentionally, by one...
    • Darth Bane. Bane, disgusted by Kaan's joke of a Sith Order, reforms it based on the Rule of Two, which states there will be One Master and One Apprentice, to prevent such squabbling ever happening again. He also sets in motion a grand Evil Plan to conquer the galaxy, which he expects to succeed in roughly 100 years.
    • It takes The Sith another thousand. Exactly what they were getting up to in all this time is still a bit of a mystery, but eventually we arrive at the time of The Movies and to Darth Plagueis and, more importantly, his apprentice Darth Sidious, aka Senator Palpatine of Naboo. After murdering his master in his sleep Palpatine finally executes the Sith's millennia old Gambit Roulette, successfully getting himself elected Supreme Chancellor and, with the help of Count Dooku, initiates the Clone Wars, that ends with Dooku dead, the Jedi devastated, and Palpatine with dictatorial powers. He takes troubled Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker as his apprentice Darth Vader and has him lead The Purge against the remainder of the Jedi. Palpatine reforms The Republic into The Empire with himself as Emperor, and spends the next couple of decades ruling the galaxy with an iron fist until The Rebellion, including Anakin's son Luke and daughter Leia, destroy his second Death Star and Vader undergoes a Heel-Face Turn and hurls Palpatine to his death.
    • After the Emperor's death, Ysanne Isard took over as the main Imperial antagonist during the X-Wing Series.
    • The role was shared between Grand Admiral Thrawn and Joruus C'baoth for The Thrawn Trilogy. A succession of major and minor villains followed, such as Admiral Daala, Admiral Pellaeon, and the spirit of Exar Kun, plus a couple of Hutts, rogue Imperials, Dark Jedi and one or two Always Chaotic Evil alien races, as The Empire devolved into a Vestigial Empire, and eventually signed a peace treaty with The New Republic. Everything finally seemed peaceful, until...
    • New Jedi Order introduced the Yuuzhan Vong, with their Supreme Overlord being Shimrra, but it's really Onimi that's pulling the strings. Over the course of a good 19 books the war with the Vong, driven by their toxic religion, kills hundreds of trillions of sentient peoples and sees the deaths of countless worlds, and though they are defeated and peace is made, the galaxy is left in a wreck...and the Sith are about to return...
    • Lady Lumiya set the dominoes up for Legacy of the Force, but she was defeated halfway through and later got replaced by her protege, Darth Caedus, aka Han and Leia's son Jacen following his More Than Mind Control-driven Face-Heel Turn.
    • Currently, we have a Big Bad Ensemble for Fate of the Jedi in the form of Abeloth, another Outside-Context Villain; the Lost Tribe of the Sith, descended from a remnant of the Sith Empire; and Daala, now the embattled leader of the Galactic Alliance. The Jedi themselves have gotten Darker and Edgier too.
    • And finally, there is Darth Krayt and his One Sith for Legacy, set in 137 ABY, long after all the other main characters are dead. The Republic is finished, and The Empire is back but is now the lesser evil, and Krayt sets about executing a plan to bring order to galaxy he has been preparing for more than a century. His Dragon Wyyrlok briefly contests the title, but Krayt puts him down before finally being killed off himself.
  • Blatant Lies: Everywhere within Dark Side groups.
  • Bounty Hunter: Just look at the trope image.
  • Break the Haughty: The Selkath from Knights of the Old Republic suffer this greatly. Neither the Sith or the Republic wanted to attack Manaan because it was the planet which provided Kolto, the best healing agent of the time, and the Selkath abused that to make neutrality laws and had no problem imprisoning people from both sides who broke those laws. Fast forward to the discovery of Bacta, a far more effective healing agent than Kolto and Manaan suddenly crawls to the Republic to join and retain a strong economy. Manaan was denied and later was conquered by the Sith, who made the Selkath their slaves.
  • Breather Episode: The Millenium Falcon novel, which interrupts the very dark Legacy of the Force series. Also counts as Lighter and Softer.
  • Broad Strokes: Star Wars really is the poster child for how this trope works. The franchise as a whole publishing company for the books fans of the Expanded Universe consider just about everything in the Expanded Universe canon in some way. See this article in Wookieepedia for how it all works. It basically boils down to a seniority: Movies > Television > Newer Material > Older Material (Subject to be ignored) > Non-Canon (What-If stories, game mechanics, and LEGO Star Wars).
  • Bug War: The Dark Nest Crisis, mainly the Swarm War.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": All over the place. In-universe pop music, for example, includes genres such as jizz, jatz and heavy isotope.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Before some rehabilitative Character Development, many writers had Flanderdized the Empire and its servants into this. Ship names like Tyrant, Eviscerator, and Corrupter reinforce the ethos, as does the infamous phrase "I bid you dark greetings!".
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The 'verse has gone from about the same level of edginess as the original trilogy to Kill 'em All status over time.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The Errant Venture, the Maw, Centerpoint Station, Dathomir...If it exists, it will either be completely forgotten about or become a central plot element repeatedly.
  • The Chessmaster: Most common are the heads of a Dark Side faction. A Sith Lord with multiple underlings is almost guaranteed to attempt to be this.
  • Chick Magnet: Of all people, Luke.
  • Choke Holds: Jedi are trained in martial arts. Choke holds are preferred by some as it leads to victory in a fight without causing damage to the loser or requiring much energy expenditure on the part of the Jedi.
  • The Chosen One: Both the Jedi and Sith have their version. The Sith called theirs the Sith'ari. It was told that the Sith'ari would destroy the Sith but would revitalize the Sith into a stronger group than ever before afterward. This was accomplished when Darth Bane eradicated the current Sith of his time, the Brotherhood of Darkness, and then established the Rule of Two, which lead to the Sith finally ruling the galaxy when Darth Sidious' plan was enacted.
    • The Jedi have their Chosen One in Anakin Skywalker. The Chosen One was to bring balance to the Force and destroy the Sith. While "bringing balance to the Force" is generally unclear, Anakin did destroy the Sith filling the spots of the Rule of Two (himself and Darth Sidious).
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Fey'lya.
  • Clip Its Wings: Rebel and New Republic fighter pilots find that the solar panels on TIE fighters make wonderful targets from the side.
  • Clone Army: Grand Admiral Thrawn recovered some Spaarti cloning cylinders capable of growing a clone to adulthood in a matter of weeks and giving it memories.
  • Comic-Book Time: Averted for a long time. Compare the in-universe dating of any story up to about a quarter of the way through the New Jedi Order with its date of first publication and you'll find that the difference between "years ABY" and "years since 1977" seldom exceeds 5 and the former never exceeds the latter.
  • Continuity Nod: "Kiss my Wookiee!" "I love you." "I know." "It's a trap!" "Perhaps you'd like it back in your cell?" "Great. I always wanted a walking carpet following me around." Some are painful.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Palpatine would kill and then resurrect Bevel Lemelisk no less than 6 times as punishment. Among them is being slowly devoured by beetles and being thrown into a vat of molten copper.
  • Corrupt Politician: This is the hat of the Bothan race. They genuinely hate the empire, but they're backstabby jerks who are detrimental to the New Republic war effort, except as far as intelligence gathering goes. They're fantastically effective spies, and willing to take casualties.
  • Darker and Edgier: The EU has been steadily creeping this way and towards Bloodier and Gorier. Compare the main horror of the first major novel, Heir to the Empire, to that of one of the most recent, Death Troopers. One is an adventure novel, and the horror is of being hunted down and captured by someone who wants to take your children. The other is survival horror, and the big fear is of being eaten by/converted into a zombie. There have been zombies in Star Wars before, but never quite the classical type.
    • The Legacy comics are all about this. Cade Skywalker is a drug-addicted Bounty Hunter who wants nothing to do with the Jedi or their force and constantly betrays and abandons friends and potential allies... and he's supposed to be the HERO.
  • The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: Happens quite a bit. The gain of significant power, wealth and influence makes a lot of Dark Side practitioners forget their past.
  • Deadpan Snarker: By far the most prevalent form of humor in the galaxy. In way of characters, we have Mara, Ben, all of the Solo family, all of Rogue and Wraith Squadrons...everyone of any importance will get at least one snarky line in.
  • Death World: Kashyyyk is the usual example, but also Ryloth (the Twi'lek homeworld), Tatooine and others.
  • Defector from Decadence: A lot of Imperials who leave the Empire do so because they can't stand something about it anymore. Most of them join the Rebellion.
  • Democracy Is Bad: The government of the New Republic is so massively dysfunctional that it survives less than a generation. It is replaced by the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, which is so blatantly incompetent that they totally miss the fact that a Sith Lord pulls off a repeat of Palpatine's takeover of the Old Republic simply by slipping an amendment into a bill that gets casually passed by the legislature without notice. The Sith Lord in question's mother is the only one who observes that this is unconstitutional, as the office of Chief of State can supposedly only be gained via election. The government seems not to notice or care, even when he proceeds to go on a rampage against any world that does not submit to his rule. Following this debacle, the GFFA government again allows the office of Chief of State to go to someone arbitrarily appointed, in this case an Imperial Admiral who once tried to destroy their capital planet. She likewise attempts to create a police state, once again largely unimpeded by a compliant legislature, forcing the Jedi to become defiant outlaws. In contrast, the authoritarian Empire is increasingly depicted as better-run, complete with leaders who are noticeably more competent and even-handed than their counterparts running the GFFA.
  • Depending on the Artist: Strongly evident in the comics.
  • Depending on the Writer: So very much. Luke or Leia: who is the calm, humble, quiet one? Who takes more after their father? Does Han Solo say "Please" without sarcasm? What expletives do specific characters use, and what word substitutions? Thrawn: a mere Dangerously Genre Savvy tactical genius, or so near-omniscient that taking him down was a fluke? What household animals might civilians have? How are droids treated? Are stormtroopers soldiers following orders and doing what they think is right, or near-mindless evil Mooks who are okay to slaughter? Chewbacca: a character, or just a background detail? Does everyone know Luke and Leia's parentage? Is Leia utterly badass or a Damsel in Distress? Are Jedi demigods, unobservant and pathetically easy to kill, or somewhere in between? Daala: a complete General Failure or the second coming of Thrawn? Can X-Wing pilots contribute to the plot in any way besides flying around during a battle?
    • The most prominent Depending on the Writer issue is undoubtedly the question "How much about the main characters is common knowledge among the ordinary people of the galaxy?" Many writers assume that the galaxy is essentially made up of people who saw the Star Wars films and therefore Luke can't go anywhere without being recognised. On the other hand, other writers reduce the in-universe prominence of the main characters and knowledge about them—The Thrawn Trilogy's plot basically relies on the fact that nobody except Luke knows what happened on the Second Death Star in Return of the Jedi, and the general public are still debating whether Darth Vader died there or just went missing. In this version of the Star Wars galaxy, nobody except the main characters knows that Darth Vader was also Anakin Skywalker and was Luke and Leia's father. However, by Legacy of the Force, everything is apparently common enough knowledge that Han Solo makes jokes about Boba Fett's childhood on Kamino.
  • Displaced Origin: The Sith were not originally Dark Side Force users who opposed the Jedi Order.
    "The term Sith actually refers to a species of red-skinned beings who were native to Korriban." -Vestara Khai
  • Disturbing Statistic: Luke is disturbed to learn that over a million people were on the Death Star when he destroyed it.
  • Doesn't Like Lightsabers: Nomi Sunrider in Tales of the Jedi until Master Thon manages to convince her that they're as much a tool as the Force, not just weapons.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Definitely Darth Nihilus, Waru, Mnggal-Mnggal, and Abeloth. Arguably Palpatine in Dark Empire.
    • Alan Moore created a couple for several stories he wrote for a UK Star Wars magazine in the 1980s.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Luke's childhood nickname was Wormie, acquired because he was the smallest in his group of friends.
  • Endless Daytime: Ryloth, the Twi'lek homeworld, a tidally locked planet.
  • Escape Battle Technique: If you fight Yoda, you have one of these. Usually a combination of Force Speed and distracting Yoda by endangering someone in the vicinity.
  • Evil Will Fail: The Sith are just too evil to have any system they create endure for long, thanks to Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
    • Even non-Sith practitioners of the Dark Side very rarely meet any success which lasts. Greed, jealousy and arrogance all wind up leading to the end of some Dark Sider's life.
  • Exotic Extended Marriage: The Cereans (the species to which Ki-Adi-Mundi belongs) have a sex ratio unbelievably lopsided towards females, and that's why they are polygamous. Even Jedi like Ki-Adi are allowed and advised to practice polygamy, since every unmarried or not married enough male is a demographical hazard to the entire race.
  • Expanded Universe: Duh.
  • Expansion Pack Past: Pretty much everyone—most notable in the Tales sub-series, which famously gave virtually every bit character in every crowd scene a backstory. Even the priest that married Anakin and Padmé has his own Wookieepedia page.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Imperial policy of High Human Culture started as a justification for the lack of visible aliens in a clearly multicultural society and rapidly took on a life of its own.
  • Fantastic Recruitment Drive: Luke spends a lot of his time wandering around the galaxy looking for hidden Jedi as well as people with raw talent.
  • Fast Roping: ARC troopers are seen doing this during the Battle of Kamino.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Bevel Lemelisk.
  • Featureless Protagonist: Several video games do that:
    • Rookiee One, the protagonist of Rebel Assault I was a typical Featureless Protagonist with no face, for whom you would select both name and gender. In the second game, he was actually played by a {male} actor in live-action cutscenes. Still haven't got a name though.
    • For Jaden Korr, the protagonist of Jedi Academy, the player would choose gender, species (Human/Rodian/Zabrak/Twi'lek/Kel Dor), facial details and costume. Years later he made several cameo appearances in various novels, which canonized him as dark haired Human male. He eventually got a major starring role in Crosscurrent and its sequel, Riptide.
    • The Protagonist of KOTOR, for whom players selected name, face and gender at the start, was later given the name of Revan within the game itself. The Old Republic MMO eventually gave him a canonical face.
    • Similarly, the Protagonist of KOTOR II received the name Meetra Surik in the novel Revan, while Star Wars: The Old Republic showed us her "true" face. Interestingly, she was canonizes as a woman by non-fiction sources back in 2006 and remains the only departure from "White Human Male" model the above 3 examples followed.
  • Fictional Political Party: The Expanded Universe details a very diverse political climate with a very large number of different political organizations and movements all across the galaxy. Some are parties that involve themselves in the local affairs of a single planet; others try to make an impact in the Galactic Republic or New Republic. Among them...
    • During and around the time of the Prequel Trilogy, the two main factions in the Galactic Republic are the Separatists, led by Count Dooku, who wanted to leave the leave the Republic as see that it was disbanded and the Loyalists, led by Senator Palpatine, who wanted to remain with it; as we all should know, this eventually led to the rise of the Galactic Empire.
    • The Rights of Sentience Party is a party in the New Republic that grew out of a lobbyist group with a similar aim, to protect the rights of sentient species.
    • The True Victory Party was a political party comprised of radical Bothans who wished to continue ar'kai (i.e. "genocidal warfare") against the Yuuzhan Vong.
    • The POWER Party (that's Preserve Our Wild Endangered Resources Party) of the planet Telos IV was an organization created in opposition to the Telosian government granting a Mega Corp. control over the planet's national parks and sacred lands for the mining of resources, which the POWER Party believed should be illegal.
  • Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon: The Darksaber is a cylindrical ship that houses a superlaser and makes up the majority of the ship itself.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Stories set before or between the events of the movies may fall into this. For example, if you read a story of Darth Vader searching for Luke between episodes IV and V, you would know that unless the location is Hoth he won't find him.
  • Frontline General: In all Sith Wars and Clone Wars materials, the Jedi lead Republic military forces against the Sith and Separatists. Being able to block blaster fire helps a lot.
  • Gatling Good: Hapan Battledragon cruisers have their main Turbolaser battery built like a flat version of this; and it works much the same way. The guns are built in a rotating ring around the central reactor, and each gun gets adequate time to charge. During a fight with a Star Destroyer, it states that there's a huge chunk of time where the imperial ship has its guns silent, while the Dragon just keeps pounding on them.
  • Genius Loci: Zonama Sekot, a living planet.
  • Genre Shift: Occasionally someone will use the setting to do something different. The Galaxy of Fear series is kid-lit horror, the Coruscant Nights trilogy is detective noir, and Death Troopers is a zombie story.
  • A God Am I: Many Sith Lords, especially the heads of their current organization, fancy themselves this. Occasionally an overconfident Jedi will step into this territory. A few other Force-sensitive characters from various groups fall under this, too.
  • Gossip Evolution: Often done by agents of the Galactic Empire to use fear as a means of control. Darth Vader fought against a group of 8 Jedi at the Conclave of Kessel and required assistance from the 501st Legion to prevail. After a bit of fact editing, the story changed to Darth Vader single-handedly wiping out 50 Jedi.
  • Grand Finale: Star Wars: Legacy Volume 2 18 serves as such for not only the entire Legacy series but of Legends canon altogether following the acquisition of the Star Wars franchise by Disney.
  • Heel-Face Revolving Door: Boba Fett is a good example of this. Is he the villain to Han solo's hero? Is he the guy training Jaina to defeat one of the most powerful Sith of all time? Or is he just the man leading his people and avoiding galactic conflict while picking off certain people for money?
  • Heel-Face Turn: Done to death.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Dani, Shira, and especially Luke's wife Mara.
  • Heroic Willpower: Luke. Fighting the Empire, Yuuzhan Vong, Sith and more and emerging alive should require more of this than any single person could have.
    • Han also displays notable willpower on occasion, all the more impressive considering he does not have Force training.
    • Boba Fett deserves a mention. He was able to resist Vader's attempts to mess with his mind in their battle. And to be able to successfully kill as many Jedi as Fett has is most impressive. So impressive that Jaina sought him out when she wanted training.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: The books are notorious for this.
  • Hollywood Tactics: Any works featuring the prequel-era battle droids, who never, ever, use cover (necessitating the creation of more threatening droids with armor and intelligence). The clones started out acting like this, but it got quickly dropped in favor of the Space Marine trope for them (See Rookies, for instance).
  • Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: Sith "alchemy" can allow even wildly different species to interbreed. Among other things, this is apparently why the Mon Calamari have traits of both arthropods and mollusks.
  • Ho Yay
  • Hyperspace Lanes: There are major hyperspace routes that seem to be along natural "clear" paths.
  • I, Noun: I, Jedi, the only novel written in the first person.
  • I Know You Are In There Somewhere Fight: A frequent occurrence when a Light Side being tries to bring a Dark Side being back to the light.
  • In the Blood: And how! Ben's a Chick Magnet like his father in Invincible. Before that, Anakin Solo is one in NJO, like his father. Jacen follows in his grandfather's footsteps. And Ben's the third Skywalker or Solo attract the romantic interest of the Hapan royal family.
    • List of Hapan royal family members who Totally Have The Hots(tm) for the Skywalker/Solo clan (running count: 4).
      • Taryn and Trista Zel to Ben (Invincible)
      • Isolder to Leia (The Courtship of Princess Leia)
      • Tenel Ka to Jacen (Young Jedi Knights, Dark Nest Trilogy) Had a kid
  • Incest Subtext: Averted. Practically no EU work written after 1983, and none set after 4 ABY, mentions Luke's crush on Leia.
    • Luke dwells on it briefly in The Truce at Bakura.
    • Allegiance hints a little, but it's set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.
    • There's a perfectly natural explanation for all of it, but Luke's first scene in Heir to the Empire could easily lead someone unacquainted with canon to believe that he and Leia are married.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Hoth chocolate. And before you ask how cocoa beans can grow on Hoth: It's just regular hot chocolate with tauntaun milk.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: A few major characters have their backstories as a complete mystery, and considering how in-depth canon goes on everyone else, it's got to be deliberate.
    • We still don't know, and probably never will, where Mara Jade came from. Homeworld, parents? Complete blank.
    • Yoda has the nearly unthinkable status of never even having his species defined.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The Yuuzhan Vong. Full stop.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: It really sucked for Anakin Skywalker during his lifetime. PROXY and Galen Marek even touch on the subject a bit.
    PROXY: I hate being him.
    Marek: I think he does, too.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: Luke Skywalker. He's so famous as the first of the revived Jedi Order that a nascent bar fight aborts just because he happens to be in the room. Everyone, even the arguing interlocutors, stop and wait for Luke to solve the problem. He ruminates on the reputation of the Jedi, but we know who's really famous. An in-universe Memetic Badass Warrior Monk.
  • Living Legend: See above re: Legendary status.
    • Also, the Grand Admirals. In order to be promoted to Grand Admiral status, you have to be the best of the best of the best. Acquiring this rank carries with it legendary status, a warrior to be feared beyond all others. Grand Admiral Thrawn, of course, takes this Up to Eleven by being so amazingly good that even the Emperor, a human supremacist, is willing to promote him. In-universe and out, Memetic Badass.
  • Living Memory: Holocrons.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: If they're named, they have a backstory. And if they don't have names, they probably will soon.
  • Loophole Abuse: Darth Sidious was a follower of the Rule of Two, which states only two Sith may exist at once. However, Sidious had dozens of Dark Side followers besides Darth Vader, who was Sith #2. The loophole? They were taught the ways of the Dark Side but no Sith teachings. Darth Krayt abused the same loophole for his One Sith philosophy.
    • Not quite; Krayt just flat-out defied it. As he had every right to, because the One Sith is a different Sith Order. It doesn't have to follow the Rule of Two. The Rule of One is not based on the Rule of Two; it's intended to supplant it.
  • Love Redeems: You'd think the Jedi would be more accepting of love considering it tends to work well at making people turn away from the Dark Side. Vader's love for Padmé almost redeemed him before Luke ever picked up a lightsaber (then did actually redeem him in Return of the Jedi). Nomi Sunrider was being tempted but her love for Ulic Qel-Droma shook her out of it. Revan's love for Bastilla brought her back to the Light Side. Luke and Leia's love for one another helped turn Luke back to the Light Side after Luke tried to destroy the Empire from the inside. Galen Marek was trained by his father as a Jedi, then was made Vader's apprentice for years. The love for a woman was what kicked off his redemption.
  • Machine Empathy: Many of the novels state that pilots turn down their inertial dampeners so that they can get a feel for space flying (even though Space Does Not Work That Way).
  • Magitek: While the films do not really give any indication of machines having any special connection to the Force, technologies and even outright magical items crop up quite a bit in the EU, especially the comics. Examples include the Rakatan Star Forge, Naga Sadow's flagship, his amulet later used by Exar Kun and Sith Meditation Sphere's. The Jedi and Sith Holocrons also probably qualify, as they appear to be impossible to duplicate with regular technology, and only work properly for Force-sensitives.
  • Mainlining the Monster: One of the novels had a spider monster that produced a spice called glitterstim, which needs to be harvested in complete darkness. The spider uses it to make its webs, while other creatures use it for some kind of mind reading.
  • Meaningful Name / Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Most of the Sith Lords have names that fall under both of these tropes.
  • Mentor Ship: Luke/Mara and Bane/Zannah. In fanfic, Luke/Corran, Luke/Kyp, Jacen/Ben, Mara/Palpatine, and of course Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan/Anakin, and Anakin/Ahsoka.
  • Mile-Long Ship: Kilometer-plus length seems to be fairly standard for capital ships. In particular the Empire built dozens of ships collectively termed "super star destroyers". Most were one-off designs and only the Executor-class star dreadnought went into wide production. Meanwhile Mon Calamari Star Cruisers are often longer than Imperial-class star destroyers
  • Mind Screw: The ambiguously-canon Sandstorm has a ten-year-old Luke run away from home into a sandstorm, where he sees a tall dark figure and then meets a ten-year-old boy named Annie who is strikingly similar to him. Luke kills a krayt dragon, and when he's rescued from the storm there is no sign of it or Annie. It's pretty clear that Annie is a young Anakin Skywalker, but what is he? A hallucination? Some projection of the Force? It's weird.
  • Mind Rape: Darth Zannah uses this from time to time but arguably the most notable example is The Sith Emperor Vitiate, who is outrageously skilled at this. Most of the beings on his planet suffered this at some point and are under his control. He can do it to Jedi Masters and Sith Lords as well, as he was able to completely dominate the minds of Revan and Malak, two phenomenally talented Jedi. And he did it to them at the same time.
  • Mobile Factory: World Devastators from the Dark Empire series.
  • Mobile Fishbowl: Downplayed with the occasional note that other species find the humidity aboard ships crewed by Mon Calamari to be uncomfortable.
  • Modern Stasis: Or Future Stasis, possibly. The EU timeline(s) extend over 25,000 years... but the technology and culture has developed over that time so little it's mind-boggling. Possibly justified due to the galaxy going through a Dark Age about a thousand years before the movies. In reality, we lost a lot of technology due to the dark ages.
  • Mugging the Monster: You'd think a lightsaber would be a good anti-mugging thing to dangle from your clothes. It isn't.
  • My Hair Came Out Green: In I, Jedi, Corran accidentally dyes his hair green while attempting to disguise himself as Kieran Halcyon.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Luke bears some of this, Depending on the Writer.
  • Nicknaming the Enemy: The Rebels derisively call Imperials "Bucketheads".
  • No One Could Survive That: Recalling his rescue from Jabba, Han wonders if he's really seen the last of Fett. This was the (wrong) answer he received.
    • Calo Nord in Knights of the Old Republic lampshades this when he tells Malak, "I am hard to kill, Lord Malak."
  • Not This One, That One: A reversal of sorts in the backstory for the Millennium Falcon. Han Solo wins a ship from Lando Calrissian in a card game, and Lando tries to get him to take one of the fancy-looking, worthless, all-style-no-substance ships he owns. Han pretty much says, "Not this one, that one," and picks the YT-1300 "junker".
    • Goes to show how Genre Savvy Han Solo is.
      • And smuggling-savvy. Han IS a smuggler, and the YT-1300 is the space equivalent of a beat up cube van—every legit courier business owns em, and nobody asks too many questions if they see one. Lando was trying to get him to take the equivalent of a Ferrari (high maintenance cop-magnet with no cargo space). Didn't want that, neither did he want the space equivalent of a semitrailer (may be a more efficient cargo hauler on a per-trip basis, but you can bet there will be a lot more regulatory agencies that want a piece of you if you own one-just what a smuggler wants to avoid). He wanted a ship he could turn into a medium-duty smuggling machine.
  • Off with His Head!: Marka Ragnos dueled Simus for the title of Dark Lord of the Sith. The battle ended with the latter's head being separated from his body. Darth Bane decapitated Sirak in their final duel. Shimrra Jamaane of the Yuuzhan Vong also lost his head in his battle against Luke Skywalker.
  • Outside-Context Villain: The Yuuzhan Vong.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Numerous examples, especially beings behind planet-destroying machinery. Bonus points to Sith Lords such as Darth Nihilus and Emperor Vitiate as they wiped planets clean of life with the Force almost instantly.
  • Planet of Copyhats: Nearly every minor alien character in the movies spawns an alien race with their characteristics in the EU.
  • Planet of Hats: Played straight, averted, subverted. There's a lot of species with a lot of stereotypes out there, so there's a lot to do with this trope.
  • Planet Spaceship: Zonama Sekot is hyperspace-capable.
  • The Power of Love: Jolee Bindo explains it to Revan. He believes love can save a person (see the Love Redeems entry for details backing his claim) but the passion in love is what should be monitored with great care.
  • Predecessor Villain: There's a whole smattering of villains who have never actually appeared in any work, only been mentioned, usually in reference texts. The earliest were the Sith King Adas and the Dark Jedi leader Xendor, whose traditions would eventually be united under Ajunta Pall, the first Dark Lord of the Sith. Pall's tradition would eventually give rise to Naga Sadow, but before him were Lords Tulak Hord and Marka Ragnos (Marka would get a chance to be a post-mortem Big Bad in one of the Dark Forces Saga games). Similarly, there's a whole line of Sith Lords that sprang out of Darth Bane's teachings which is really only notable so far for producing Palpatine and his apprentices but which also included Darths Zannah, Cognus (these two at least have supporting roles in the Darth Bane novels), Millennial, Vectivus, Guile, Gravid, Gean, Ramage, and Tenebrous.
  • Prequel in the Lost Age: There are many novels and games set in the time of the Old Republic, usually thousands of years before the Battle of Yavin.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Wookiees, obviously, but also the Noghri, the Chiss and many others.
    • Canderous Ordo makes the Mandalorians seem like space Spartans. As do Boba and Jango Fett.
  • Red Shirt: If you're a Jedi in the Clone Wars who we've never seen before, chances are you'll be killed by either the droids or your own men.
  • Redheaded Hero: Quite a few, though the rarity (and therefore conspicuousness) of redheads is still called out at one point.
  • Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: The Second Imperium from Young Jedi Knights as a result of a retcon due to the events of Hand of Thrawn.
  • Retcon: The current policy seems to be that there's no inconsistency so big that can't be patched up by some well-placed retcon.
  • Ridiculously Difficult Route: The Kessel Run, a hyperspace smuggling route between Kessel and Tatooine, skirts a black hole cluster near the Kessel System where it's easy for a less competent pilot than Han Solo to get killed. Most people don't go that way.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Many examples, e.g. the devastation of Honoghr is the Chernobyl disaster IN SPACE.
  • Sapient Ship: Various space ships that are operated by droid brains.
  • Scary Dogmatic Aliens: In addition to dark side users, rogue Imperials, and the criminal underworld, one of the most common villain types. Most famously, the Yuuzhan Vong, but other examples include the Ssi-Ruuk, the Yevetha, the Vagaari, and in the backstory the Rakata, the Hutts (before their hat switched to organized crime) and the original Sith Empire (back when the Sith were still a species, rather than a religion). The Empire, of course, are Scary Dogmatic Humans, as alien characters in the post-ROTJ era will often be quick to point out.
  • Scoundrel Code:
    • Han Solo's mentor Roa has Roa's Rules: Never ignore a call from help, steal only from those richer than you, never play cards unless you're prepared to lose, don't pilot under the influence, and always be prepared to make a quick getaway.
    • Bounty Hunters in that universe also have an accepted code of conduct. No Bounty Is Worth Dying For; People Don't Have Bounties, Only Acquisitions Have Bounties (meaning that anyone you are being paid to shoot is just a target, not a sentient being); Capture By Design, Kill By Necessity; No Hunter Shall Slay Another Hunter; No Hunter Shall Refuse Aid to Another Hunter; No Hunter Shall Interfere With Another's Hunt (the rules of not sabotaging/killing other Hunters rule are not in play with the Great Hunt, where the goal is to compete with other hunters, however); and In the Hunt One Captures or Kills, Never Both (meaning you don't kill an unarmed target who has surrendered unless they try to escape).
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: If a Sith Lord has a tomb, do not mess with said tomb.
  • Sense Loss Sadness: What happens to Force-blinded Jedi or Sith.
  • Shed Armor, Gain Speed: The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels says that Rebel engineers would frequently strip off hull plating and extra weight from the Y-Wing in order to give it extra speed for some types of operations.
  • Sidenote Full Story: For literally everything in the movies. Not only is a backstory provided for every character who appeared onscreen in the movies (and even some of the Faceless Goons), but you also get stories that explain exactly what a "nerf herder" is.
    • For an example: Remember that brief blink-and-you'll-miss-it glimpse of the Millenium Falcon in Revenge of the Sith? Well, there's an entire book out about why it's there.
  • Single-Biome Planet: Just as bad if not worse than in the movies: Kashyyyk is the jungle planet, Ithor is the forest planet, Dantooine is all grassy plains, etc.
    • This is partially justified/averted with Kashyyk. Partially averted in that we see that it has oceans, beaches - the areas around which are not so dense, i.e. the trees are only huge rather than ginormous, etc. It is partially justified in that KOTOR explains that Kashyyk plants were effectively fed steroids when the Rakata's agricultural farming went a bit... out of control.
    • Knights of the Old Republic makes it clear that Tatooine is a desert planet before the player even leaves the enclosed settlement.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: From all the way on one end to right down on the other end, depending on the media. The most recent ones strongly tend towards Cynicism.
  • Sorcerer King: Several Supreme Chancellors of the Galactic Republic were also Jedi Knights. In fact, there was a 400 year period when the Republic was ruled by only Jedi chancellors. All of them were this trope, and the Republic lived another thousand years because of their leadership.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Deadness: Add "killed in Bantam: 1, killed in Del Rey: 4".
  • Star Killing: The Sun Crusher, Centerpoint Station (although Star Killing requires perverting the latter from its original purpose).
    • Naga Sadow as well. He could make a star turn into a supernova.
  • The Starscream: An intentional part of the Sith philosophy. The apprentice is supposed to kill the master to "graduate," then train a new apprentice to eventually kill him. In Darth Bane's novels, he becomes disappointed because Zannah isn't murdering him when she has the chance.
    • The "Revenge of the Sith" novelization implies that Palpatine comes to feel the same way about Vader; he had groomed and tutored Anakin for years because of his literally unmatched Force potential. After Vader's dismemberment, his ability is cut in half and it is obvious that after being rebuilt he will never be as strong in the Force as the Emperor. It is unknown whether Palpatine was searching for a true heir to continue the Rule of Two someday as the Sith established dominance or simply wanted a powerful lieutenant to serve him as he claimed ultimate victory. Palpatine being Palpatine, either outcome is conceivable.
  • State Sec: COMPNOR (Commission for the Preservation of the New Order) basically is the Empire's equivalent of the SS. It has an executive committee, its own military and intelligence wings that are separate from the regular army and navy chain of commands, a social engineering agency, and its own youth group.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Anakin, especially in the Episode III novel where he defeats Count Dooku, who finally goes all out against the young Jedi. In the Geonosis battle at 22 BBY, Dooku completely demolished Anakin in their fight, after toying with Obi-Wan. Fast forward 3 years later aboard the Invisible Hand. Anakin has not only learned a new fighting style but mastered it to a degree most Jedi would require decades to reach. While Anakin's Force sensitivity is greater than Yoda's and Anakin is often portrayed as being a quick learner in various EU stories, to go from being utterly defeated by Dooku to defeating him with a newly mastered style in just 3 years is a bit of a stretch, especially when Dooku has been shown to be the equal of Mace Windu in combat.
    • Expect Darth Sidious to be capable of just about anything when he is not reserving himself. He killed 3 Jedi Masters in front of Windu before Mace could do anything. One of those Jedi (Kit Fisto) has recently been shown as a match for, if not a superior to, General Grievous. And Sidious can create Force Storms capable of wiping out entire fleets of capital ships.
  • Super Speed: All over the place in the video games for Force users.
    • Post-movie comics also establish that Darth Sidious is very quick whether he is in a new clone body or even an advanced age as seen at the end of Return of the Jedi. By the time of Dark Empire Luke's mastery of the Force had surpassed Yoda's, and Luke had trouble keeping up with Sidious in their lightsaber duel.
  • Tabletop Games: Two unrelated systems; the earlier, now out of print West End Games version was the source of a lot of ideas that later ended up in the novels and comics.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Luke's fond of these.
    • Han's a fan, too.
  • Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: All over the place, e.g. X-wings are the balanced fighter, A-wings are fast but have weak shielding and Y-wings are slow but durable. The same applies to the different styles of lightsaber fighting that the Jedi and Sith use.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Ships that can destroy stars, a gun that fires its ordinance through hyperspace, and a weapon that seems to be a combination of the former two.
  • Tidally Locked P Lanet: The Twi'lek homeworld Ryloth has the sunward side an uninhabitable desert and the night side freezing cold. The Twi'leks mostly live on the terminator and use exile to the sunward side as a form of capital punishment.
  • Translation Punctuation: Timothy Zahn likes this. Vision of the Future has an instance where the various fleets of alien warships over Bothawui are given fraudulent orders to {Attack!}, [Attack!], and <Attack!>
  • Truce Zone: the Selkath take massive advantage of this with their planet of Manaan, making the Republic and Sith obey their laws. When Manaan's product Kolto become borderline worthless when the far more efficient Bacta is made available galactic-wide, the Selkath try to join the Republic to save the planet's economy. The Republic shoots their request down and the Sith conquer Manaan and make the Selkath their slaves.
  • UnintelligiBall: Throughout the EU, Sabbacc has received some pretty detailed rules, making it difficult to follow scenes that focus on a sabbacc game.note 
  • Uniqueness Decay: Frequent, as different authors want their own versions of originally unique monsters/characters to play with. See the trope page for details.
  • Villainous Legacy: There is an entire subgenre dealing with the immediate aftermath of Return of the Jedi - just because the Emperor is dead doesn't mean there's nobody who is interested in continuing the Empire.
  • Vow of Celibacy: EU works sometimes deal with Jedi rules about relationships in more detail. Different writers seem to have taken different approaches (some of them pre-Phantom Menace backstory decisions that ended up getting Jossed by the prequel trilogy, with associated retcons to make them fit), with the result that whatever rules the Jedi are said to have had, they must have changed over time or had lots of exceptions. Some characters seem to be married without repercussion, while others are told it isn't allowed. Specific examples:
    • Jedi Trial, set between Episodes II and III, has Master Nejaa Halcyon find out about Anakin's marriage to Padmé and keep the secret, as he himself secretly has a wife and a teenage son whom he's training as a Jedi. Other works indicate that the Corellian arm of the Jedi Order played by its own rules.
    • The Republic Commando Series has a cameo by Callista Ming from The Callista Trilogy, who is a member of a Jedi sect led by Master Djinn Altis that encourages romantic relations. The mainstream order considers them semi-heretical. Meanwhile Etain Tur-Mukan takes the Secret Relationship approach and has a son with Darman, one of the eponymous clone commandos.
    • The New Jedi Order founded by Luke Skywalker in the post-Return of the Jedi timeframe has no celibacy requirement at all, and some of their members, such as Corran Horn, were already married when they joined.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: References are made to the trash compactor scene from A New Hope on occasion, most notably in The Thrawn Trilogy.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Referenced by Han Solo during the Dark Nest Crisis. Instead of snakes, he says bugs.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: In multiple ways. Weaker beings who turn to the Dark Side are often consumed by it and lose their minds, resulting in a loss of sanity. Sometimes those who can control the Dark Side become so powerful that the arrogance overcomes their reason. Then there is the Force Insanity trick which allows a Force user to make others insane. Finally, the loss of certain power can lead to insanity, such as when Jorak Uln was booted from the top position of the Korriban Academy. Revan calls Jorak a madman when they converse.
  • Vampiric Draining: Some force users can devour the lifeforce of their victims. The strongest Sith lords (e.g.Sidious, Nihilus) are even able to drain life from entire worlds.
  • Vibro Weapon: Besides lightsabers, there are some older melee weapons (like swords) that are still used that use vibro technology to make them more dangerous.
  • Zerg Rush: A viable tactic against Hapan Battledragon cruisers, because their design team skimped on the targeting systems. Sending a swarm of bombers to take out the engines, which are directly connected to its reactor, is a great way to take them out.
  • Zombie Apocalypse:
    • Present in Joe Schreiber's Death Troopers and its prequel, Red Harvest.
    • Also the nature of the threat posed by the Rakghouls.

Episode GuideRecap/RecapDC Comics

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy