The Horror of the EU
Its the spooky season, Halloween's just around the corner, and i was asked to write a little article for the occasion. So here are some lesser known stories from the Expanded Universe that i think are perfect for this time of the year. Because besides the usual candidates (those being the works by Joe Schreiber, Death Troopers and Red Harvest), there are other authors who were able to write stories that have that certain „Horror“ feeling.
1. Galaxy of Fear
Not much needs to be said about this highly underrated Young Adult series. It was a Star Wars ripoff of the popular Goosebumps novels, but damn, if it wasn't fun!
In the twelve books of this series, we get planets that eat people, Zombies, ghosts, deadly viruses, and much more. Add to that a bunch of cameos by famous movie and Expanded Universe characters, and you get one hell of a ride. If you haven't read Galaxy of Fear yet, do yourself a favor, it's the perfect time to get into it.
2. The Jaden Korr Duology by Paul S. Kemp
Generally not well known, the two novels Crosscurrent and Riptide feature the videogame character Jaden Korr as the protagonist, and have a pretty wacky videogame-esque storyline; we get timetraveling Sith-Ships, we get minerals that enhance Force powers, and we get some genuinely creepy stuff. An abandon imperial laboratory, where everyone was murdered. A group of insane clones living underground in this facility, worshipping a Spaarti clone cylinder as their „mother“. A journey to a destroyed planet, where an ancient sentient Rakatan Space Station tries to lure people in. We even get some Zombies on board!
3. Doctor Death – The Tale of Dr. Evazan and Ponda Baba
Written by Kenneth C. Flint (author of the novel Heart of the Jedi), we get a Frankensteinian short story set after A New Hope, about the mad scientist criminal Dr. Evazan performing his insane experiments.
This story is collected in the Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina collection, and also works very well with a later appearance by Evazan in the Galaxy of Fear series.
4. Soup's On: The Pipe Smoker's Tale
Collected in Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, this short story by Jennifer Roberson introduces us to Dannik Jerriko, the titular Pipe Smoker. Written from the first person perspective, this story takes us into the mind of an insane vampire serial killer during the time of A New Hope. Okay, he's an Anzati and not a classic Vampire, but close enough.
5. Out of the Closet: The Assassin's Tale
Collected in Tales from Jabba's Palace, this story (again written by Jennifer Roberson) serves as a conclusion to a storyline that occurs over the course of several different short stories within this collection. In short, people are getting mysteriously murdered in Jabba's Palace during the events of Return of the Jedi, and no one knows who the murderer is. This story gives the resolution, while also working well enough as a standalone.
6. Death Masque
The one UK Marvel comic not to be reprinted as part of the Devilworlds paperbacks, Death Masque is about an attempt by the Empire to capture Luke Skywalker with the help of a „nightmare demon“. This creature, called Reist, is …. a monkey, with a skull head. It hypnotizes Luke and gives him nightmarish visions of all his friends dying. This Issue can be found in the current Star Wars Epic Colletion: The Original Marvel Years Volume 3.
7. The Pandora Effect
Again, a Marvel UK comic, this time written by Alan Moore, so you know you can expect insanity. In The Pandora Effect, our heros Han, Leia and Chewbacca get captured in a Bermuda Triangle-esque place in space by a satanic cult, that tortures them. The ending of this Issue is specifically amazing, but i won't spoil too much. Just saying that Abeloth is nothing compared to Wutzek.
And these are only the stories i could think of at the top of my head. Just goes to show that the Star Wars the Universe is certainly a great place to tell terrifying horror tales.