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The Best Skywalker Stories You'll Never See In The Movies

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is the ninth and final installment in the episodic saga of the Skywalkers, and the most famous family in the galaxy far, far away likely won't be a main focus of future Star Wars movies. In the original trilogy, we saw the journey of Luke Skywalker. In the prequels, we learned the backstory of his dad, Anakin. And the sequel trilogy has focused on the elder Luke and his sister Leia passing the torch to a new generation of heroes. The Skywalker family certainly isn't lacking screen time in the Star Wars universe, but there are still plenty of Skywalker stories you'll never see in the movies.

In the 16-year gap between Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace, Star Wars fans craved new content. And Lucasfilm gave it to them in the form of comics, novels, and games. This content became known as the Expanded Universe, and it continued to thrive until Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012. Shortly thereafter, Star Wars' new owners officially declared the Expanded Universe non-canon, paving the way for new stories that would begin with the sequel trilogy. But this move erased decades of stories, including over 200 novels, that the Star Wars faithful had long considered Gospel. Many of these tales, particularly those focusing on various members of the Skywalker family, are still beloved by fans. But given how Disney has taken the franchise in another direction, these stories will likely never be told on the big screen.

Luke Skywalker becomes Palpatine's apprentice

Though there were rumors of a turn to the Dark Side for Luke Skywalker leading up to The Last Jedi, such a turn never took place. Luke remained, even in his disillusioned and eremitic state, a bastion for good. He got to save the day with his Force projection duel against Kylo Ren, which allowed the Resistance fighters to escape and proved that Luke remained a true hero to his core. But fans of the Expanded Universe know that Luke was previously tempted by the Dark Side, going so far as to become the apprentice to the Emperor himself.

The storyline occurred in one of the first Expanded Universe stories, the aptly named Dark Empire. This 1991 comic book from Dark Horse Comics takes place just a handful of years after Return of the Jedi, and it sees the Emperor return from his presumed death at the end of that film, with the explanation being that he transferred his consciousness to a cloned body at the moment of his death. Luke, shocked to see him alive, agrees to become his apprentice — with his plan being to bring down the resurgent Empire from the inside. But the Dark Side corrupts Luke, and he loses sight of his goal. It takes a lightsaber fight against Leia for him to snap out of it, and at that point, he's finally able to defeat Palpatine. Dark Luke would've been cool to see on the big screen, but the window for this story closed long ago.

The saga of Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker

In the official Star Wars sequel films, Luke is not shown to have settled down. As far as we know, he never had a serious relationship, never married, and never had children. But in the Expanded Universe, Luke did all of those things with a woman named Mara Jade, arguably the most popular Star Wars character to never appear on the silver screen.

Mara Jade was introduced in the 1991 novel Heir to the Empire, the first installment in Timothy Zahn's wildly popular Thrawn trilogy. Mara is introduced as a smuggler who was previously employed as the Emperor's Hand. She's an extremely skilled user of the Dark Side of the Force, and prior to the Emperor's death, Mara was given the command to kill Luke Skywalker. She manages to kidnap Luke, but the two subsequently become stranded in a harsh environment and must work together to escape. This event starts to bring the two together, and though it takes several more novels, Luke and Mara eventually fall in love and finally get married in the 2000 Dark Horse comic Star Wars Union. But that's not the end of their story.

Luke and Mara also have a son together named Ben Skywalker, whose first name appears to have been recycled in the sequel trilogy as Ben Solo, aka Kylo Ren. Ben Skywalker grows up to become an accomplished Jedi like his mom, but Mara doesn't live to see it. She's murdered by her nephew, Jacen Solo, while on his way to becoming Darth Caedus.

Luuke, I am your clone

Mara Jade wasn't the only character of significance to be introduced in Zahn's Thrawn trilogy. There was also Luuke Skywalker. That's not a typo, it's actually spelled Luuke, and he's Luke Skywalker's evil clone who made his debut in the conclusive novel in the trilogy, The Last Command. In the story, it's revealed that the clone was created by the mad Jedi Master Joruus C'baoth. C'baoth made the clone using Luke's severed hand that Darth Vader cut off during their battle on Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back, and Luuke even wielded Luke's original lightsaber that was also lost in that battle. 

C'baoth sics Luuke on Luke, and the two engage in an intense lightsaber duel. Given that Luuke is a genetic clone of Luke, and that he's received expert Jedi training from C'baoth, the two are a perfect match for each other. Their fight ends when Mara Jade intervenes, using Leia's lightsaber to slay both Luuke and Joruus C'baoth (in case you couldn't tell, Mara Jade is a serious badass). The real Luke comes to view Luuke as the fulfillment of the vision he had on Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back, where he duels someone he thinks is Darth Vader, only to realize it was himself.

Luuke Skywalker may not have featured heavily in the Expanded Universe, but the idea of an evil Luke clone whose creation came about thanks to one of the most iconic scenes in the franchise is undeniably awesome.

Father and son in exile

Let's face it, Ben Solo is no Ben Skywalker. While it's possible, probably even likely, that Kylo Ren's birth name was inspired by Luke's son from the Expanded Universe, Solo can't hold a candle to Skywalker. You see, Luke's son didn't stab his dad through the chest with a lightsaber like Han Solo's on-screen offspring did. Instead, Ben Skywalker went on a galaxy-spanning adventure with his dad when Luke was at his lowest.

In the novel series Fate of the Jedi, Luke is exiled and stripped of his Jedi Master ranking for failing to prevent Jacen Solo from turning to the Dark Side (those Solo kids, they're always trouble). In order to lift his punishment, the elder Skywalker must find out why the young Solo went bad, and his teenage son, Ben, volunteers to assist him in doing so. The Skywalker family then travels the galaxy looking for clues, but finding mostly trouble. Their journey brings them into conflict with a secretive sect of powerful Force-users called the Hidden Ones, has them hunt down relics for the armadillo-like monks known as the Aing-Tii, allows them to travel to a Force-shadow realm with the help of a group called the Mind Drinkers, sees them withstand attacks from witches called the Nightsisters, has Ben develop feelings for a Sith woman named Vestara Khai, and ... well, you get the idea.

The two Skywalkers do and see so many amazing things on their journey they could probably fill another nine movies. After all, they did fill nine books.

Luke Skywalker's haunting love story

Mara Jade wasn't the only woman to fall for Luke in the Expanded Universe. In fact, Luke Skywalker was quite the ladykiller in his day. But perhaps his most unusual romance, and the one that would've made for a most interesting and daring film, was the fling he had with Callista Ming. 

Debuting in the 1995 Barbara Hambly novel Children of the Jedi, Callista was a Jedi knight who died during a mission to sabotage a superweapon called the Eye of Palpatine. At the moment of her death, Callista used the Force to transfer her spirit to the ship's computer. Then, 30 years later, the ship reactivated, and Luke ended up on board to try and stop it from wreaking havoc. He soon met Callista, and even though she was a literal ghost in a machine, Luke fell in love with her. She later regained human form after inhabiting the body of the Jedi Cray Mingla, who died like Callista had three decades prior trying to stop the Eye of Palpatine. In her new body, Callista continues her romance with Luke, but she discovers she can no longer use the Force. She decides to go on a solo journey to try and regain her powers, and ends up being absorbed by the evil amorphous alien known as Abeloth. Luke eventually discovers this and kills Abeloth — along with Callista.

The Callista saga, which spans three novels, is undoubtedly one of the weirdest Star Wars storylines out there. But who doesn't love it when Star Wars gets weird?

Leia's hot air balloon adventure

Not every Skywalker story in the Expanded Universe revolved around Luke. Leia also got some love in the EU, and she got to do some pretty cool stuff in books and comics that her on-screen counterpart could only dream of — flying like Superman through outer space notwithstanding. And one of Leia's best stories that will never make it to the big screen is the adventure she took in Marvel Comics' Star Wars #73, which was published roughly two months after the release of Return of the Jedi in 1983.

The story, dubbed "Lahsbane" after the planet on which it takes place, picks up not long after the Battle of Endor. Leia, Luke, Lando, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C-3PO are all still hanging out together (Han Solo had gone missing at the time), and they've recently picked up a new ally: a pink-skinned, female thief named Dani. The gang heads to the planet Lahsbane to search for the flight record of a Rebel pilot who'd crashed there, and they learn that the records they need are located across a vast canyon. After some vaguely sexist treatment from Luke and Lando, Leia and Dani hatch a plan to secretly secure the records themselves. So under cover of night, the two women cross the canyon ... in a pair of hot air balloons.

Okay, yes, this story is ridiculous, but the idea of Leia going on a female-only adventure to prove her worth — even in a hot air balloon — would've been fun to see on the silver screen.

Good Solo vs. bad Solo

In Disney's Star Wars movies, Han Solo and Leia Organa have one child together, Ben Solo. Prior to the events of The Force Awakens, Ben turned to the Dark Side while training to be a Jedi under Luke Skywalker. He later murders his father and Supreme Leader Snoke before taking command of the First Order as its leader. But the idea of Leia and Han's son becoming a villain actually predates Disney's Star Wars takeover, in an Expanded Universe story that we'll never see on the big screen.

In the EU, Han and Leia actually have three children together. They first have the twins Jaina, a girl, and Jacen, a boy. Later, they have another son, named Anakin. Introduced in the early '90s Thrawn trilogy, Jaina and Jacen spend many years honing their Jedi skills — they are the children of a Skywalker, after all — while being groomed to become the next generation of Star Wars heroes. But then, Jacen is seduced by the Dark Side of the force.

In the novel series Legacy of the Force, which takes place around 40 years after A New Hope, Jacen attempts to stop a civil war from breaking out in the galaxy, but he ends up becoming a Sith to do it. He murders Mara Jade, disowns his entire family, and adopts the name Darth Caedus. He briefly manages to take over the galaxy for himself before being killed in a lightsaber duel by his twin sister, Jaina. Boy, nobody does family drama like Star Wars.

Meet the new Anakin

In addition to Jaina and Jacen Solo, there's a third Solo child in the Expanded Universe, a boy named Anakin. Now, you may think it would be strange for Leia and Han to name their kid after Darth Vader, even if the villain was Leia's grandfather, and you're right! It is super weird. The name has a pretty strong effect on the kid as he fears that he'll eventually turn to the Dark Side like his granddad. But unlike his brother, Jacen, Anakin manages to resist the temptation to become evil, though he isn't the only one who sees the potential for evil in his name.

In Dark Empire, the then-infant Anakin becomes the prime target for Palpatine, who's looking for his next host after running through the last of his clones. The Emperor thinks he's found one in the new baby who shares the name of his most iconic apprentice, and he makes securing Anakin as his vessel his number one priority. Think Vigo the Carpathian from Ghostbusters II.

Anakin survives the Emperor's attempt at bodysnatching him, but he doesn't exactly go on to lead a long and healthy life. In one of the most tragic storylines from the EU, Anakin Solo dies during the war against the Yuuzhan Vong (a race of aliens more at home in Star Trek than Star Wars, but that's neither here nor there). During a mission gone wrong, Anakin stays behind to fight an army of Vong alone so his siblings and close friends can escape, and he gives his life in the process.

The Skywalker pirate

If there's one thing Star Wars desperately needs, it's a Jedi pirate. And that's exactly what Cade Skywalker is. Debuting in Dark Horse's Star Wars: Legacy comics, Cade's story takes place many years after the exploits of our traditional Star Wars heroes. Over 100 years after, in fact, as Cade is the great-great-grandson of Luke Skywalker. And since canon Luke had no children, that means we'll never see a Cade Skywalker movie — and that's a shame.

Cade Skywalker is downright awesome, there's no getting around it. The guy is basically a cross between Luke and Han, with a little Boba Fett and Jack Sparrow thrown in for good measure. He was raised a Jedi, but after seeing his father murdered, he takes a different path by operating in the seedier side of the galaxy. He becomes a pirate and a bounty hunter, and he has his own sweet ship with a loyal crew of scallywags. Cade eventually is confronted with his past when he's discovered by the Sith Lord Darth Krayt, who seeks him out due to his Skywalker heritage. Cade ends up reluctantly embracing his Jedi roots and proves to be an extremely powerful Force user, taking the fight to Krayt and eventually killing him in combat.

Cade Skywalker's story is one of the EU's most thrilling adventures, and it would give Star Wars fans something they hadn't seen in a movie before. But alas, it seems they never will.