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Expanded Universe: Special Additions

Tim from Open-Airlock Policy here with the latest entry in Expanded Universe: Special Additions.

In the mid-1990s, Lucasfilm decided to re-release the Star Wars trilogy for the 20th anniversary. It wouldn’t just be any re-release; it would be a “Special Edition,” with restoration, improvements, “corrections,” and even additional material. The plan was revealed to the public in 1994. In this video and series, we will track the implementation of the Special Edition changes into the Expanded Universe.

In 1994, Bantam Spectra and Lucas Licensing conceived of a massive multimedia project set in the Star Wars universe. This “movie without a movie” centered around the interquel story told in the Steve Perry-written novel, which was set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. A comic series, a video game, cards, and more were introduced. A soundtrack was even created by Joel McNeely. As I pointed out in an Expanded University video earlier this year, if you don’t count the Kenner Droids and Ewoks figures as Expanded Universe figures, then the Shadows line would include the first EU figures. The point is, Shadows was a huge project.

We’ve established that the Special Edition films were being developed around the same time. This gave Lucasfilm the opportunity to sync up some of the creations between the two projects. As we mentioned in the previous article, the Sentinel-class landing craft developed for A New Hope Special Edition appeared first in the Shadows video game. That is just one example of many things developed for either project that first appeared in Shadows. Remember, Shadows was released in 1996 (into 1997 when you count the personal computer version of the game) and the Special Editions were released in 1997. Let’s take a look.

Dash Rendar’s ship, the Outrider, a Corellian Engineering Corporation YT-2400 light freighter, can be seen lifting off in Mos Eisley in A New Hope. The ASP series droid, first seen on screen as Luke, Obi-Wan, and the droids enter Mos Eisley, first appears visually in the Shadows comic series. The Mobquet Flare-S model of swoop first appeared in the Shadows video game; a Flare-S is being ridden by someone in A New Hope.

Can you think of anything else introduced in Shadows of the Empire that wound up in the Special Edition films? I’ve closely watched the Coruscant uprising scene and can’t spot a skyhook. ;) See you next time.

1 comment

1 Comment

Scott Johnson
Scott Johnson
Dec 29, 2022

Yeah, ASP-707 is in A New Hope. I think there might be some other things like Bothans retconed as being in background shots. Although not in the special edition, Shadows tie in material in conjunction with the Decipher card game came up with the rest of the bounty hunter ship designs.

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