Woman Behind the Scenes of the Expanded Universe

Rostoni

Sue Rostoni

Sue Rostoni

She maintained the Expanded Universe in print and helped plan the New Jedi Order series, as Executive Editor and fiction and comic editor at Lucas Licensing. She held that job for 20 some years, retiring in 2011.

Lucy Audrey Wilson

Director of Publishing the President of Lucas Licencing. She came up with the idea of the holocron, an internal database to keep track of the rapidly expanding universe, before it was all in large binders.

Honorable Mention:

Marcia Lucas

It’s not surprising that after a painful divorce, George Lucas doesn’t talk about his first wife. But as the editor, she did have a great deal to do with the original trilogy of movies. She was the one who suggested the idea to add more impact to the first movie, at the time just called Star Wars, by having Obi-Wan die, which Lucas had apparently only toyed with. Given that he obviously still needed to be around in some form or another, George Lucas had to find a way to kill him yet have him around. Enter, the Force Spirits, that have since been a regular occurrence in the Expanded Universe, from Anakin Skywalker trying to make peace with Leia in Truce of Bakura, to the Jedi Exile appearing in SWTOR as well as Sith Force Ghosts like Naga Sadow, Freedon Nadd & Exar Kun.

Woman Models & Actors of the Expanded Universe

This is a salute to the female models, actors and voice actors that made the Expanded Universe an audio and visual adventure. This is not a complete list, but some of those who had either the most roles in the Expanded Universe or the most influential characters. Everyone probably knows about the movie actors, but did you know about these? Do you know anymore?

Shannon McRandle as Mara JadeShannon McRandle (Actor)

The real life Mara Jade. Mara Jade was such a popular character that even before she was officially married to Luke Skywalker, a model was chosen to immortalize her in the trading card game. Her likeness has also been used in art and action figures. She also happens to be supportive of the Expanded Universe, even since the reboot. You can check out her Facebook page ShannonMcrandleisMaraJade

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Charal-Star Wars: The Ewok AdventureSiân Phillips and Marianne Horine (Actor)

played the true first female villain onscreen, the dathomire night sister ‘Charal’ in Ewoks the Battle for Endor. Her powers are mentioned in Book of the Sith and Ewoks: Shadows of Endor. Marianne Horine played the younger version. Siân Phillips the darker older version.

Zam-BountyHunterLeeanna Walsman (Actor & Voice Actor)

Zam Wessell, who goes on to be a neutral ( sometimes villain, sometimes not) character in the Dark Horse comics. But she IS an assassin and bounty hunter and introduced in Attack of the clones as a villain. The same as in the movie also did her voice work in ’Bounty Hunter’ the video game.

Cindel-EwokAdventureAubree Miller (Actor)

Cindel Towani of the Caravan of Courage AKA the Ewok Adventure and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. This child actor had a starring role in both. Her character, Cindel, was later mentioned in the Expanded Universe as growing up to become a journalist.

mission vao in Knights of the Old RepublicCatherine “Cat” Taber (Voice Actor)

Most know her as the voice Padme of Filoni’s The Clone Wars in 2008. But EU fans may know her better as the snarky Mission Vao of Knights of the Old Republic who helped Revan save the galaxy. She also stars as the smuggler Vette, companion to the Sith Warrior in SWTOR. She also played Leia Organa in both The Force Unleashed games.

Serra Keto in Revenge of the Sith gameKari Wahlgren (Voice Actor)

Her character Serra Keto in Revenge of the Sith video game goes on to comic books in the Clone Wars era of the Expanded Universe.
Wehlgren’s voice is yours if you play a female Knight in SWTOR known as The Hero of Tython, a character who dares challenge the Sith Emperor himself.
Other roles include: Aayla & Darth Phobos in The Force Unleashed,  Empire at War: Forces of Corruption as Silri.
She was also in Kinect Star Wars (Video Game):  Gold 4 / Intercom / PC Female Pilot /.

Alora vs Rosh in Jedi Academy Game

Alora vs Rosh in Jedi Academy Game

Grey DeLisle AKA Grey Griffin (Voice Actor)

Some voice actor really make quite a dent, crossing from many, many video games and on into the animated Clone Wars Micro Series. Here they are in no particular order.

2002 Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Video Game): Padmé Amidala / Bera Khazan
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Video Game): Sarna / Lena / Cassandra Mateil
Star Wars: Jedi Knight – Jedi Academy (Video Game): Alora / Jedi Female (voice)
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords (Video Game): Handmaiden / Brianna (voice)
Star Wars: Clone Wars (TV Series): Padmé Amidala / Asajj Ventress / Shaak-Ti /
TFU (Ventress) – she is listed as a playable character when dueling. SWTOR (female bounty hunter)
TPM video game (Padme/gungan child)
E1 power battles
early learning activity center (game)
Star Wars: Demolition
Star Wars: Force Commander (Video Game): Hover Transport Driver / Leia Organa / Ruulian/ Terrorist (voice)
Star Wars: Starfighter (Video Game): Bravo 8 / Rescue 2 (voice)
Star Wars: Super Bombad Racing (Video Game): Queen Amidala
Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds (Video Game): Gungan Villager #2 / Queen Amidala / Rebel Scout Captain /
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II – Rogue Leader (Video Game): Karie Neth (voice)
Star Wars: Obi-Wan (Video Game): Asha and more.
Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter (Video Game)
Loreli Ro / Nym Pilot 2 / Wingmate 2
Star Wars: Bounty Hunter (Video Game): Female Civilian #2 / Montross’ compute

satele-shanJennifer Hale (Voice Actor)

Hard to underestimate a role of galactic importance, she plays Bastila Shan in both Knights of the Old Republic games.  Bastila is the love interest of the Expanded Universe canon version of Revan. Hale also plays her descendent  Satele Shan in Star Wars: The Old Republic, Jedi Grand Master as well as mother of Theron Shan. The non canon version of Jaden Korr in Jedi Academy (last of the Dark Forces series) is her voice.  She had minor roles in X-Wing VS Tie Fighter and Star Wars: Force Commander. She also plays various characters in Filoni’s Clone Wars series.

Kreia-KOTOR2Sara Kestelman (Voice Actor)

Kreia /Darth Traya, Knights of the Old Republic 2. This mysterious character is a thought provoking mentor to the Jedi Exile.

Jessica Meade, Droids AdventuresTaborah Johnson (Voice Actor)

She does the voices in the Ewok and Droids cartoons of Latara (the ewok), a main character, and Jessica Meade, a tramp freighter captain.

Kneesaa, Animated Ewok CartoonCree Summer (Voice Actor)

Princess Kneesa, ewok, one of main character’s of the Ewok cartoon.

Ann Sachs (Voice Actor)

Most people know Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia. But when the popular NPR Radio Adaptations appeared, it was Ann Sachs who took the role of voice acting Leia. The radio drama added scenes not in the movie, including 3 important ones involving Leia.

Woman Models & Actors of the Expanded Universe

Juno EclipseNathalie Cox (Model, Actor, Voice Actor)

The star behind Juno Eclipse of The Force Unleashed may have had a supporting role, but it was an important one. Her character stood up to Darth Vader and was more than just the simple love interest of Starkiller, Vader’s Secret Apprentice. She became a Rebel leader in her own right. But perhaps her support of Starkiller is even more important: it was her inspiration that drove him to seek the light.  While some might play a Dark Side ending, according to the Expanded Universe (AKA Legends) canon, he turned to the light, and books and graphic novel tie ins confirm the importance of her role in this.

Jan Ors - Dark Forces 2Angela Harry (Model, Actor, Voice Actor)

Jan Ors may not have been a star or playable character, but Kyle Katarn wouldn’t have survived to get his bad ass reputation without her skill at rescuing him. No matter how often he left her without any idea what he was up to, she still came to his rescue. While the earliest Dark Forces game just gave Jan a drawing and some text of her lines,  Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight introduced Angela Harry as the true look of Jan Ors. This game featured live action cut scenes with early CGI.  While Angela Harry only voiced and acted Jan Ors for this game, her likeness continued to be used for future CGI modeling, giving the character a distinctly Asian look.

 

HONORABLE MENTION:

jaci-twiss-as-jaina-soloJaci Twiss

Jaci Twiss has not performed in any official Star Wars productions.  The actress has only appeared in the Fan Film: Legacy of the Force, adapted from the part of the novel Invincible by Troy Denning. But her role gave a physical onscreen presence to the popular Jaina Solo that was denied the character by the reboot. Jaci Twiss also encouraged her fans to vote for Jaina Solo in the 2016 Hasbro Fan’s Choice poll for a 6″ action figure.  The figure won the poll.

Woman Models & Actors of the Expanded Universe

Sources: IMBD and the Wookieepedia and the respective game, movie, and TV show credits.

Women Artists of the Expanded Universe

Jan Duursema

legacy-cade-kole

Artwork from Dark Horse Comics, Legacy -a young Cade and Kol Skywalker

Her artwork gives character to such memorable faces as Republics: Quinlan Vos, Aayla Secura (her artwork created the character that Lucas liked enough to put in Attack of the Clones), Legacies: Cade Skywalker, Darth Talon, Dawn of the Jedi: Xesh, and even some classic marvel star wars characters.

You can see more of her art with links to buy it on her website, janduursema.com

TFU-concept-art

Amy Beth Christenson concept art as shown in The Art & Making of The Force Unleashed by Hayden Blackman

Amy Beth Christenson

Video Game Concept artist for The Force Unleashed,  Starfighter, Jedi Starfighter, Bounty Hunter, and ROTS.

You can check out the designs on artbyabc.com

NJO-EdgeofVictory-conquest

Cover art by Terese Nielsen

Terese Nielsen

She did cover art for Star Wars Expanded Universe books and comics
This includes several X-Wing: Rogue Squadron comics, Union Graphic Novel, New Jedi Order novels Edge of Victory 1 and 2 and the Final Prophecy. She also did packaging at for Star Wars Miniatures: Legacy of the Force and Star Wars Miniatures: Knights of the Old Republic.

You can check out her art and buy prints at tnielsen.com.

 wildlife-of-star warsTerryl Whitlatch

Worked in the redesign of some creatures in the Star Wars Special Editions (1997 version),  creature design in The Phantom Menace. She also illustrated The Wildlife of Star Wars (a field guide), The Jedi Path and Book of the Sith.
You can check out her portfolio on ArtStation.

artwork-empire-jabiim

Artwork from Empire #30

Adriana Melo

Comic book artist for several of the Dark Horse comics, including the first issues of Empire follow up Shadows of their Fathers, that were a follow up to the Republic Last Stand on Jabiim story arc. Luke finds out that not everyone thinks his Father was a hero of the Clone Wars in these.

You can check out more of her art on her DeviantArt page.

TOTJ-comp-Bakura-srcbook

Her illustrations are inside these 2 books, among others, by West End Games.

Christina Wald

Did illustrations for West End Games Star Wars RPGs including The Truce at Bakura Sourcebook and Tales of the Jedi Sourcebook.

You can find more of her current art on her website christinawald.com

Shea Standefer

A Topps trading card artist, she worked on Star Wars Galaxy Series including Rise of the Bounty Hunters. But her most unusual contribution is by lending her appearance for Scarlet Hark (Honor Among Thieves by James Corey) and Shaylai Veila from Dark Times: A Spark Remains (Dark Horse Comics).

Check out more of her art on Deviantart, including some cool familiar Expanded Universe favorites!

StarWars-Craft-BookBonnie Burton

While not directly related to the Expanded Universe, her work does have implications for the fans. For years she ran a blog on the StarWars.com site giving crafting tips for kids and adults interested in doing fun things with their favorite characters. She also did You Can Draw: Star Wars Characters for DK books. Perhaps the most fun is the Star Wars Craft Book.  It tells you how to create a Momaw Nadon sock doll, Chewie hand puppet and action figure wreath.  Obviously if you want to turn that hand puppet into Lowbacca the Jedi instead, you can!  Nothing is stopping us from using Expanded Universe figures on the wreath either. While Momaw Nadon’s name and background come from the EU, its also no big jump to turning his sock puppet pattern into, say, Rorron Cobb, Ithorian Jedi hero of the Genndy Tartrosky Clone Wars, or one of the Moomow brothers of the Knights of the Old Republic comics too.

Women Authors of the Expanded Universe

Most of us know the characters already. But what about the female writers who invented them? Without them, these heroes we know and love would not exist. This is not a comprehensive list.

HanSolo-Huttgambit

Ann Crispin

Han Solo Trilogy:

  • Paradise Snare
  • The Hutt Gambit
  • Rebel Dawn

With a rare brilliance, she not only wrote the Han Solo trilogy and introduced us to his earliest influences, but managed to masterfully weave the rest of his Expanded Universe life into it. She interwove rather than overwrote,  Brian Daley’s Han Solo adventures,  Xaverri of the Crystal Star and Thrakin Sal-Solo of the Corellian Trilogy, she mapped out the incredible beginnings of the most famous (or infamous) smuggler in universe. His first meeting with Lando Calrissian is here, interweaving with the Lando Calrissian Adventures by L. Neil Smith, his introduction to smuggling, first clashes with Boba Fett and dealings with Hutts.

TruceatBakuraKathy Tyers

  • Truce at Bakura
  • New Jedi Order: Balance Point

The true aftermath of Return of the Jedi for our heroes started only hours after the second Death Star exploded. Her tale weaves the beginning of them dealing with their feelings on this, on Leia and Han and her feelings about Darth Vader being her biological father.  Luke struggles with the loneliness of being a Jedi. The first truce with the Empire is here, on Bakura. The character of Gareil Captison will be one of Luke’s first loves after becoming a Jedi.

Crystal-StarVonda N. McIntyre

  • Crystal Star

Her Original Trilogy character knowledge may not have been shining in The Crystal Star, but the personalities for Jacen and Jaina Solo began right here, in her one novel for the expanded universe. The Jaina who would be the pilot, the sword of the Jedi and a tinkerer starts now. The Jacen in love with animals is born here too. This book may not be the best or anywhere close to it in the Expanded Universe, but it was the foundation for great things.

Legacy of the Jedi, from Dooku to Anakin

Jude Watson AKA Judy Blundell

  • Jedi Apprentice
  • Jedi Quest
  • Last of the Jedi

She tells the tale of a young Obi-Wan Kenobi in Jedi Apprentice, as he first teams up as Qui-Gon’s apprentice. Based on Obi-Wan of the Phantom Menace and a mere few words in The Empire Strikes Back to Luke, Obi-Wan has to overcome his own impatience and anger to become the padawan able to defeat Darth Maul.

She follows up with Anakin under Obi-Wans tutelage, taking him from the confident slave boy to the lonely, eager to please but growing in power (and ego) young man in Attack of the Clones. His struggles are made real and easy to relate too in a way the movies simply had no time for.

In Last of the Jedi she follows up on Anakin’s rival, former padawan Ferus Olin, after Order 66. As a matter of fact, hints that Ferus Olin might be gay were confirmed by the author on Twitter. So she earns the fame (or infamy, depending on your point of view) of being the first author to even hint at that in one of the kids series.

Young Jedi Knights Lightsabers the Solo kids are told the story of Nomi from Tales of the Jedi

Rebecca Moesta

  • Junior Jedi Knights Series
  • Young Jedi Knights Series

She wrote the last 3 Junior Jedi Knights books and cowrote the second, expanding further on Anakin Solo, Tahiri Veila, the Jedi Tionne.

She also co wrote Young Jedi Knights where Jacen and Jaina Solo, Tenel Ka, Lowbacca, Raynar Thul would train as the future generation of Jedi Knights. Continuing on from McIntyre’s characterization, the Solo twins are growing toward their destinies.

These stories reference things from The Illustrated Star Wars Galaxy, a book author Kevin J. Anderson was also involved in.

Junior Jedi Knights the Golden Globe we seen a device left by Exar Kun during Tales of the Jedi

Nancy Ann Richardson

  • Junior Jedi Knights

She wrote the first two Junior Jedi Knights books and cowrote the third, introducing Young Anakin Solo as he begins training and his good friend, Tahiri Veila, who was raised among the sand people,

Children-Of-The-JediBarbara Hambly

  • Children of the Jedi
  • Planet of Twilight

Love her works or hate them, she started to bridge a connection between the as yet unwritten old Republic / clone wars era and the  new, via a battleship and a trapped Force Spirit. Her most notable invention however, is Belsavis. Her descriptions of an icy world with volcanic rifts led to its creation as a playable world in Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Republic Commando - Triple Zero Clones

Republic Commando – Triple Zero Clones

Karen Traviss

  • Republic Commando Series
  • Legacy of the Force:  Bloodlines, Sacrifice, Revelation

Some love her. Some hate her (for murdering Mara Jade). But she delved deeper into the ethical issues of a clone army and the Jedi’s lack of questioning than anyone. She also seriously boosted Mandalorean culture by filling out a language and culture that had only seen snippets in old comic books, even interweaving pieces out of old Classic Marvel comic books into a rich full warrior culture with its own customs and honor.

Dark JourneyElaine Cunningham

  • New Jedi Order: Dark Journey

Short Stories:

  • The Crystal
  • The Apprentice
  • Red Sky, Blue Frame

Jaina Solo suffers in the New Jedi Order when tragedy strikes her family. Delving into Jaina’s temptation with the Dark Side, the aftermath of this story will be felt in the future stories, post New Jedi Order.

classic-marvel-comics-graphicnovel-7Mary Jo Duffy

Classic Marvel comics Star Wars issue 24 (a ‘remembered’ Obi-Wan Clone Wars story)  issues 70 -170 (the end)

This classic marvel comics writer who wrote the first story with Zeltrons and brought back Shira Brie as Lumiya, Dark Lady of the Sith.

TCW-No-PrisonersKaren Miller

Most of her work was involving TCW but she also did the short story Roll of the Dice for the Star Wars Insider, based on Aaron Allson’s Mercy Kill. Not yet aware of how TCW would confuse things in the Expanded Universe, her few stories of TCW  actually were based on it, including such characters as future Admiral Pellaeon. She also brought in Callista from Children of the Jedi, introducing her unique Force talent with machines, and Djinn Altis sect of Jedi who believed in marriage, introducing them to Anakin Skywalker. This explained the reason the post Return of the Jedi era Jedi introduced shows no mention of the ‘marriage ban’ of the Old Jedi, given that most of the survivors and heirs found were more likely to be non Coruscant based splinter groups. It was a valiant attempt at bridging the post Return of the Jedi era with the prequel one, taking advantage of, rather than ignoring, established continuity.

* I credit her with trying to keep in continuity, which had to be a growing challenge as Dave Filoni apparently kept throwing a monkey wrench in. Not only was he altering established events as he saw fit, he also wasn’t even filming the show in ‘in universe’ chronological order, which also threw off even the books based on the show’s place in the timeline.