When Disney bought Lucasfilm the decision was made to junk the Expanded Universe. With a Thanosesque snap of their fingers, Disney made over 35 years of books, comics, video games and role playing supplements vanish so new stories could be told without working within the constraints of an already established timeline.
For good or for bad, those tales are now designated as LEGENDS – stories that do not fit into the current Star Wars canon. However, with the inclusion of everyone’s favorite blue skinned art collector, Grand Admiral Thrawn, in REBELS, as well as new series of canon books focusing on his exploits, it seems that the House of Mouse isn’t against repurposing LEGENDS characters as viable parts of their version of that galaxy far, far away.
This got me thinking…who or what would be a grand candidate for the next LEGENDS rebirth? There are several, but for today I am going to start with a quick review of, and my brief case for the inclusion of….
(I’m going to enter SPOILER territory here…but this has been public knowledge for over 40 years)
Hold your laughter. Crimson Jack is more than worthy to be included in the new Star Wars universe. First appearing in issue seven of Marvel’s Star Wars comic series back in 1978, the red-bearded Crimson Jack was one of the first looks at an organized antagonist in the Star Wars universe that was not affiliated with the Empire. Being the pirate that he was, Jack commandeered an abandoned Imperial Star Destroyer, repaired it, and made it his pirate flagship. In addition to that, not only did he have the financial backing and blessings of Jabba the Hutt, but he also stole Han Solo and Chewbacca’s reward they received at the end of A NEW HOPE.
Created in the 1970’s, Crimson Jack does suffer from some of the pitfalls of the era. Most notably his fashion sense. It seems that many of the characters that Marvel created for the Star Wars series in the 1970’s had their fashion and style inspired from either the skimpy outfits of BARBERELLA or the sexless jumpsuits of SPACE:1999. Sporting a black onesie, boots, and shoulder pads that look like they might have rejected by the members of the band KISS, Jack’s image is laughable. This is only a small part of the overall picture though, since the character’s core is fantastic. Before his death at the hands of Han (in a space shoot out no less!), Crimson Jack proved to be a formidable foe for our heroes, even going so far as to kidnap Princess Leia!
There has only been a smattering of pirates with the new canon – most notable being Hondo Ohnaka from THE CLONE WARS and REBELS. Crimson Jack would work well in a novel or cartoon series. The character only appeared in 6 issues of the comic book series. As such, he wasn’t fleshed out too much and we were only given a very narrow slice of his potential. However, the basics of the character still work today – and would be a great addition to the legend. Of course, they really should put some pants on him. I imagine it does get cold in space…