The characters that inhabit the Star Wars movies have become iconic over the years, ranging from hilarious to downright terrifying. However, they only represent the tip of the iceberg, as the Star Wars expanded universe – i.e.: books, comics, games, etc. -- has never received thorough exploration – possibly until now.
According to Stitch Kingdom – a site dedicated to Disney news – two recent applications to the Patent and Trademark Office may offer a clue into the growing Force Awakens cast: Valara and Mon Destra.
In the expanded universe, Valara Saar is a disillusioned Force Adept human with tenuous ties to the Jedi Order, who lives in isolation on her home planet Yashuvhu. While Mon Destra has no basis in the EU, Darth Destra does – a powerful Sith Lord with a deep-seated hatred of the Jedi. In keeping with the title of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the inclusion of these two could play key roles in the re-surging battle between the Jedi and the Sith. While it may seem like a stretch, these applications are how the public learned about the name of Gwendoline Christie’s character, Captain Phasma.
However, just because these characters may share similarities to elements from the expanded universe does not necessarily mean they will make the transfer to the silver screen fully formed. For example, the face mask worn by the villainous Kylo Ren bears remarkable resemblance to the one worn by Darth Revan – the protagonist from the wildly popular Knights of the Old Republic game – but from what we know the two characters have no concrete connection. The same goes for Ren’s controversial cross-guard lightsaber, which has a basis for existing in the expanded universe.
Lucasfilm has already addressed the existence of the expanded universe, how it relates to the events of The Force Awakens, and – most importantly – how they will not be beholden to its continuity. Screenwriter Simon Kinberg also commented last year on how the standalone properties will delve much deeper into the expanded universe than those associated with the main Star Wars saga. Essentially, much like Fox and the X-Men franchise, they will maintain a fluidity to their continuity, and use whatever means necessary to tell the best possible story. This willingness to acknowledge the expanded universe keeps hope alive that we may see certain fan favorite elements from the expanded universe – such as the Yuuzhan Vong.
At the moment this all remains speculative, so it's anyone’s guess as to how these developments will factor into Star Wars: The Force Awakens – if they do at all. We’ll find out when the film hits theaters December 18th.