After Disney's infamous purge of the Star Wars canon, the only things that "counted" were the Clone Wars animated movie/show and the six movies. And then, of course, everything else that Disney would make from that point forward. However, because the old canon -- now called 'Legends' -- was so beloved, creators kept grabbing old stuff and bringing it into the new canon. So far, much of the Legends material has only been repurposed in things like cartoons, comic books, and -- ugh! -- prose novels. Despite every new piece of Star Wars media being official canon, very little of said Legends material has made its way to the films. But that could still change.
Here's some of the coolest, weirdest things that are now official Star Wars canon that we (probably? might?) see in the movies. Some day. Maybe.
Chewie's family first appeared in that seminal Star Wars classic, The Holiday Special. Because it is just as wretched as you've heard, the Special was immediately rendered non-canon. For decades, the Star Wars universe pretended that the wookies named Itchy, Malla and Lumpy never existed.
That is, until recently. Aftermath was a series of books meant to bridge the gap between Return of the Jedi and the Force Awakens. And who was featured in it? Why, none other than Chewbacca's son, the young Lumpawaroo. This was a pretty clear reference to Lumpy, Chewie's son from the Holiday Special. The likeness is so striking that it may well be the same character.
Now while we hope this makes the entire Holiday Special canon (including the existence of Jefferson Starship in the Star Wars universe), all we know for certain is that Chewie did whatever wookies have to do to bring children into this world. While the future of the franchise seems a little bit up in the air at this point, we can say that there's an opportunity for this history to be explored in the upcoming Han Solo movie. Will we see an official depiction of Chewie's family, even his son? Or, better yet, maybe Solo is actually a stealth remake of The Holiday Special. One can dream, right?
If not that, then there's always Episode Nine. After all, Chewie has always had great on-screen chemistry with little annoying creatures, from Porgs to Han Solos to Ewoks. Why not his son? And if Lumpy doesn't come back then, well, wookies live a long time and you just know Disney ain't gonna stop at nine. Maybe the next trilogy will put the spotlight where it should be for once -- on the wookie. We can see it now... Return of Lumpy: A Star Wars Story.
Han Solo is a smuggler, a thief, a scruffy-looking nerf herder -- he would play by his own rules, but he's too busy breaking them with his devil-may-care attitude. He's an uncaring scoundrel... until a young Jedi and a Princess teach him to love.
Oh yeah, and before all of that, Han Solo had a wife. Her name was Sana Solo and goddamn was she awesome. She was one of the only people of color in the Star Wars universe not named Calrissian and, like Solo, she was a smuggler.
Starring in Marvel's Star Wars Comics, Sana showed up out of nowhere, claiming to be Han Solo's betrothed. It turns out what Sana was saying was only half-true -- the two of them had posed as a married couple for a scam. After Han cut out and stole her half of the loot from a recent robbery, she chased him to the end of the galaxy, subduing him and Princess Leia. Sana tried to sell Leia to the Imperials before realizing they'd probably kill Han. She helped them escape, and hasn't been seen since.
Sana only has a small bit of backstory, but she has great potential. Maybe she could be further explored in say, a movie all about Han Solo's younger years? Do we know of any movie like that coming out soon?
If you know anything about the Expanded Universe, then you know about Admiral Thrawn. He is basically what created the EU in the first place.
He was an Imperial pilot who took hold of the Empire after Palpatine's death. This blue mastermind has no Force powers, just malice, a lust for power, and the genius to pull off his plans. He hailed from The Outer Regions, an uncharted and unknown region of space, where dark creatures lurked. Though he posed a formidable and memorable threat, as we mentioned earlier, the EU was relegated to Legends and Thrawn disappeared from the galaxy.
But not for long. He came back, first in book form (written by Thrawn's creator, Timothy Zahn), and then finally as a main villain in the in-canon Star Wars Rebel series.
Odds of him appearing in the films are actually rather high -- there were even rumors of Benecio Del Toro playing him in Last Jedi, before he turned out to be just another space asshole. See, since Thrawn comes from the Outer Regions, as does Snoke, there's a chance that once the Outer Regions are more fully featured in the films -- which has been hinted at happening since the earliest new canon books -- he'll come into the picture.
Or maybe it will be another pasty dude with a red lightsaber.
With The Last Jedi, the Star Wars universe seems to be starting to focus on Force-sensitive folks that aren't exactly Sith but definitely aren't Jedi. Naturally this is where the Inquisitors come in. They're more or less the missing link between the Sith and the Knights of Ren, appearing most prominently in Star Wars Rebels.
See, the movies make it seem like Darth Vader hunted down all of the Jedi by himself. But in fact Vader didn't do it alone -- he used a group called the Inquisitors. All of them were force-sensitive and wielded lightsabers. The original Inquisitor was originally a Jedi who fell to the Dark Side as Darth Vader massacred the rest of his religion. Nothing like endless slaughter to make you lose faith.
It's not hard to see the similarities between Knights of Ren and the Inquisitors -- both are shadowy groups working for the masked big bad. While we don't know that much about the Knights of Ren at the moment, it wouldn't take that much to connect them to the Empire's elite henchmen.
You'd have to imagine that seeing the Inquisitors on the big screen is too big of an opportunity for Disney to pass up. C'mon, just look at their cool spinny lightsabers. That would make millions on toys alone.
As far as Star Wars backstories go, Ezra Bridger has a pretty good foundation. The protagonist of Star Wars: Rebels, Ezra is depicted as a young Jedi in hiding, fighting back against the Empire with a makeshift blaster made from the pieces of his lightsaber wielding a makeshift blaster made from the pieces of his lightsaber -- all before some backwater farmboy named Luke became the hero of the Rebellion.
Since he exists at such a pivotal point in Star Wars history, Ezra has had interactions with almost every big hero and villain in the galaxy -- coming in conflict with Thrawn, searching for Obi-Wan, fighting back against the Empire, and even coming close to becoming Darth Maul's apprentice.
Oh, right, in case you hadn't heard Darth Maul didn't die -- he became a cyborg with mechanical legs. It's radical. In Rebels, Maul attempts to take Ezra under his wing because he saw the padawan had as much dark side potential as light. As it so happens, Ezra is also one of the few Force-sensitive folks that realized balance doesn't just mean wiping out the Sith (though maybe it doesn't hurt).
When rumors were swirling about who would be Rey's parents, many suggested Ezra would be in the mix. While we saw that didn't happen, we can still hope Ezra is coming to the film series. Maybe he could be Rey's uncle? Cousin? ...How do we feel about clones?