Posted on Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 by Peter Sciretta
Lucasfilm has filed new trademark registrations this week for Star Wars character names from the non-canon expanded universe — how mysterious. You might remember that we first learned of Gwendoline Christie’s character name Captain Phasma from trademark filings, so these two names might provide interesting clues to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: Rogue One or the future of the Star Wars saga.
The trademark filings were uncovered by Stitch Kingdom, a disney news site. The first trademark filed on August 14th 2015 was for the name “Valara”. Interestingly, the name “Valara” does appear in the Star Wars expanded universe (i.e. Legends). Valara Saar is a Star Wars character who was created for the Star Wars role playing game. The character “is the descendant of a human Jedi who seeks out to join the Jedi Order and is initially welcomed after proving her usefulness, but ultimately fails to join for reasons unexplored. With the force in her blood, she continued to practice and teach the way of the Jedi upon returning to her home planet of Yashuvhu.”
So will Star Wars: The Force Awakens bring back Valara Saar in some capacity? The character in the expanded universe stories existed during the eras of the six previous Star Wars movies (Wookieepedia says “no date can be derived any more precisely than the era in which the events of her life took place.”) But even if she could appear in the upcoming trilogy, Yoda has said that Luke Skywalker is the last of the Jedi. How would have not know about “another?” While the character could be of use to aspiring Jedi with the Force in their blood, I’m not sure the character makes sense as written in the previous Star Wars history.
The other trademark application is for a character named “Mon Destra.” There isn’t a character with that exact name in the Holocron that is Wookieepedia, but there is a character named “Darth Destra“who, like Captain Phasma, is a creation of Star Wars fan fiction. Here is the character’s description from SWFannon:
A male Human Sith Lord who, like all Sith, desired power more than anything else. He took a single apprentice named Akella Vera,whom he named Darth Hawkrus. He led the Shadow Battalion, a group of former Dark Jedi and Sith that had sworn loyalty to Destra. Destra himself was slain by a Rogue Jedi after he had been forbidden the chance to join the Shadow Battalion. Born under a constellation that formed the Sign of the Sith, Darth Destra was called Brakkus as a child. At age 18 Brakkus lost his father to a Jedi Knight that had led a battalion of clones on his home planet. After witnessing his Father’s death, Brakkus vowed to destroy all Jedi, a deep hatred he would carry until his death in 10,000 BBY.
Although the use of “Mon” leads me to believe the new character is not a Sith. “Mon” isn usually a title, like General or Captain, for characters on the rebellion side of the Star Wars universe. The character Mon Mothma, portrayed by Caroline Blakiston in Return of the Jedi and Genevieve O’Reilly in Revenge of the Sith, played an important role in the Galactic Civil War, the birth of the Rebel alliance and the 2nd Death Star, leading some fans to believe her family may play a role in Rogue One. At one point the character was rumored to appear in Star Wars: The Force Awakens played by Judi Dench.
And like Phasma, it is unlikely that Lucasfilm’s version of the character would be anything like the fan creation, and I’m sure the company will again claim they had no knowledge of the fan creation. JJ Abrams claims that Captain Phasma’s name was inspired by the 1979 horror film Phantasm. Heck, even “The Force Awakens” was the title of a popular Star Wars fan film released in 2006. But thats probably all just coincidence and Lucasfilm/Disney lawyers didn’t think it was an issue.
Of course, none of this information has been officially announced or confirmed by Lucasfilm or Walt Disney Studios and may or may not have anything to do with the upcoming films. But a trademark filing is usually serious business.
When Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy announced that the Star Wars expanded universe would not be retold in the upcoming Star Wars films, fans of the franchise were angry that all the stories they had read was no longer considered “official canon.” Of course, many of those angry fans did not really understand the statement made by Lucasfilm — the stories told in past books, comic books and video games are not completely discounted, they will be used when the storytellers feel like using those stories and characters, and no used when those storytellers want to venture into new parts of there galaxy. Here is what was said in that original statement
“In order to give maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience, Star Wars Episodes VII-IX will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe. While the universe that readers knew is changing, it is not being discarded. Creators of new Star Wars entertainment have full access to the rich content of the Expanded Universe.”
At Star Wars Celebration 2015, Lucasfilm story group head Pablo Hidalgo explained the company’s philosophy a little further: while the Expanded Universe is now retroactively classified as “Legends” and has been wiped clean, they do have plans to reboot or reintroduce characters from that world in the canon. How, when and who was not mentioned, of course.Cool Posts From Around the Web: