Last month, the entirety of the Post-Return of the Jedi Star Wars lore was jettisoned into space by
Death, The Destroyer of Worlds JJ Abrams. However, the fact that my entire childhood all of the Star Wars expanded universe has been declared non-canon can’t stop me from dreaming.
Some fans, including myself (who are probably deluding ourselves, to be honest), are clinging to the hope that Abrams and the new crew over at Disney/Lucasfilm will use “the salad-bar method” — meaning that, while the Expanded Universe and all its proclivities and timelines are now non-canonical, elements from them, such as characters and plot-points, will be used to shape the story of Episode VII. If this is true, then who might the new additions to the cast, the beautiful and talented Lupita Nyong’o and
Brienne of Tarth Gwendoline Christie, portray? Here are some musings, using the “salad bar method” for inspiration:
I don’t have too many ideas for Nyong’o. The Internet rumor mill caught wind of Nyongo’s involvement months ago, and they were right about that. But the character attached to Nyong’o in these rumors, Asajj Ventress, has not been mentioned by the Powers That Be. Ventress was (is?) a Dark Jedi who played prominently into Clone Wars-era lore, fighting alongside her master, Count Dooku. While I have no idea who Nyong’o will play (though I’m sure whoever it is she’ll act the heck out of it and win an Oscar and make us all cry and make us cry again when she wins the Oscar and then we’ll cry months later when we’re remembering this all and who’s cutting onions in here??), I’m desperately hoping that she won’t be playing Ventress — this is mainly because Ventress has been killed off several times.
The Dark Jedi first died in the original Clone Wars television series. She then proceeded to die several more times in Clone Wars-era tie-in comics. The unstoppable steamroller that was the Star Wars: Clone Wars television series also made a hobby of declaring things non-canonical, such as one of Ventress’s many deaths, featured in the comic series Star Wars: Obsession. The series, a personal favorite of mine for its beautiful art and comprehensive storyline, which included Obi-Wan not being quite so glib about Anakin and Padme’s bad romance, was meant to be a direct tie-in to Revenge of the Sith, and featured Anakin receiving the eye scarring that was featured in Episode III to make Hayden Christensen more appealing somehow. It was Ventress that dealt Anakin this blow, and Anakin who, in return, dealt her a mortal wound. But, in the words of George R. R. Martin’s Drowned God, What is Dead May Never Die, and apparently Ventress was able to push her vital organs back inside of her flesh long enough to be sutured back together and survive, asking to be taken far away so she never has to look at Dooku’s or the Jedi’s ugly mugs again. Clone Wars featured her prominently, and even saw her live long enough to become something of a good guy — not quite, but at least enough to aid the Jedi and pursue a promising new career in bounty hunting. It’s all very confusing, and while it appears that, despite all of this conflicting information, Ventress is, indeed, alive, I think the fact that she was almost written out of so many different series indicates that her character is done.
That brings us to the matter of Christie, who I have several ideas for, none of which is a crossover in which Brienne of Tarth is discovered by time/space/universe-travelling Jedi who declare her to be Force-sensitive and spirit her away to a galaxy far, far away.
Winter Celchu: Prominently featured in the Post-ROTJ EU, Winter is a radical dame with a perfect memory, making her, you know, pretty useful to keep around. She was also Leia Organa’s BFF, and raised the Solo children while their mother was out fixing the galaxy. With pale white hair and a towering spirit, Winter also physically matches the imposing Christie.
Admiral Natasi Daala: First the first female admiral of the Imperial navy, then the Chief of State of the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, Daala is interwoven into the entire lore of the post-ROTJ EU. Aggressive and often ruthless, Daala harbored a lot of (rightful) anger about the discrimination she often faced due to her sex. Eventually becoming “one of the good guys,” Daala still harbored a lifelong resentment of the Jedi, often knocking heads with Luke Skywalker. Christie could make an interesting Daala, and while illustrations often oscillate between depicting the officer as a brunette or red-head, Christie could make a brilliant, icy-blonde Daala, whose determination to prove herself despite societal expectations echo Christie’s role as Brienne.
Who’s Still Missing:
The Lucasfilm crew has yet to announce the casting of anyone who fits the description of the Expanded Universe’s most prominent and bad-ass female character, Mara Jade Skywalker. Hand to the Emperor, Smuggler, Assassin, Jedi, and eventual wife of Luke and mother to his child, Ben, Mara is just about the coolest character in Star Wars‘s entirety, and a fan favorite. To exclude her from canon would be a waste and a shame. Here’s hoping for more casting announcements to round out this still lopsidedly male cast.