Expanded Universe Novels That Can Be Repurposed Into “A Star Wars Story”
It’s May The 4th! Star Wars Day! And it’s time to celebrate one of my favorite film series of all time, so how do I plan to do it? Well since the Star Wars solo movies are starting to roll off the assembly line, I thought I might share with you some of the now defunct Expanded Universe novels that might be good enough to recycle into an adaptation to the big screen… and isn’t the obvious choice of The Thrawn Trilogy. I have always loved the Expanded Universe novels, especially ones that don’t focus on the Skywalkers or their adjacent friends. It felt like it was living up to the promise of the Mos Eisley Cantina scene, that Luke’s story was only one of many epic stories going on at the same time. I have read a good number of these novels/collections and here are the at least two that either have great stories or good bones you can build some movies off of.
Hard Merchandise (an adaptation of The Bounty Hunter Trilogy by K.W. Jeter)
There are three distinct storylines that can be salvaged from this book, and it might be a good way to put the idea that Boba Fett is still alive and available to the main series out there.
First Idea: an adaptation of the first book in which Dengar discovers a dead Sarlacc and just barley alive Fett while searching the ruins of Jabba’s Sail Barge for salvage and survivors. While Fett is recovering on Dengar’s ship, we flash back to a point during A New Hope in which the Empire hires Fett to break up The Bounty Hunters Guild from within so that only the best will be available for hire.
Second Idea: A loose adaptation of the third book in which Boba Fett uncovers evidence that feared leader of the the Black Sun organized crime ring, Prince Xizor, had a hand in the death of Owen and Beru Lars, and sets off to sell the information to the highest bidder, making an enemy in one of the most feared criminals in the galaxy.
Third: Keep the name of the third book, but have it be a reference to Han Solo’s carbonite form, then tell a story about the other bounty hunters trying to steal Han from Boba before he can collect Jabba’s bounty. There is a comic that is somewhat to this effect, but I can’t find it or remember the author for the life of me.
Shadow Hunter (a Darth Maul story based on the book by Michael Reeves)
Shortly before the Trade Federation blockade of Naboo, one of Nute Gunray’s lieutenants, Hath Monchar, grows a conscience and steals a Sith Holocron detailing all of Darth Sidious’s plans. Monchar has already sold th holocron to a man named Lorn Pavaan and his protocol droid, and has inadvertently met with a Jedi Apprentice. So begins a cat and mouse chase through the seedy underbelly of Coruscant to reach the Jedi Temple before Sidious’s second in commend, Darth Maul, can catch up with them. This has the potential to be another Rogue One since we all know where the story is going to end, it’s just a matter of getting there.
And Then There Were Some (an adaptation of Tales From Jabba’s Palace, edited by Kevin J. Anderson, title from the story by William F. Wu)
A select group of tales from the Tales From Jabba’s Palace anthology that would be anchored by the tale of Gartogg, the stupidest Gamorean guard. The conceit being Gartogg would interrupt everyone else’s story at the most inconvenient moment; when Ree-Yees kills a cook for finding out Ree is contracted to hide a bomb on Jabba’s sail barge, or when Gartogg walks J’Quille the Whiphid standing over a man with a ax wound in his chest (the resolution to this is pretty funny), his stupidity however will turn out to be the very thing that saves his life.
These are the ones I came up with off the top of my head. I’m sure many of you can think of others. May The 4th be with you.