And the Star Wars Expanded Universe Award Goes to…

I was honored to be included in the video talking about the EU (it was not my idea, believe me — who am I, after all?), and since a lot of what I said was left on the cutting room floor, I thought I’d share with you some of the stuff I said and some of the stuff I would have said, if asked, as well as a few more fun things I just came up with now. I’m presenting them in the form of my very own People’s Choice Awards. Jen’s Awards for Choice People, if you will. (And yes, I realize my Leia bias manages to come through even here. I am a very predictable person.)

Favorite EU character: I’m going Solo on this one. Jaina Solo from the novels. And Ania Solo from the comic books. Both awesome women. One has Force powers, one doesn’t, but they both will fight to the death for their friends and for what’s right. Combining Han’s impetuousness and Leia’s strength of character, both women fight hard, love hard, and struggle with the burdens of responsibilities. If I had to pick a couple of characters to hang out with, it would be these women, but if I had to pick someone to back me up or save my skin, it would be them too.

Favorite non-Solo EU character: Scarlet Hark. She’s the most recent addition, hailing from Honor Among Thieves by James S.A. Corey, but I feel like I’ve known her forever. She’s confident without being infallible, competent without being unbelievable, a zany sense of humor, and a sometimes frightening impulsive streak. Plus she’s a SPY. I love spies.

Favorite non-human EU character: Saba Sebatyne. I’m not even sure I can explain why I love Saba so much, I just do. First of all, she is hilarious, even when she’s the only one who thinks so. Second of all, she fights like a mother — and I mean that literally. Barabels are already fierce, but when you add in Saba’s determination to protect what she loves, you had better watch out. Because she is going to kick some galactic tail, without even breathing hard. How awesome is Saba? She is so awesome that she’s the person Leia chose to train her as a Jedi. ‘Nuff said.

EU character who should have his own movie/TV series: Jahan Cross from the Agent of the Empire comic book series. Did I mention that I love spies? Sure, technically the Imperial Security Bureau agent works for the bad guys, but so do Phillip and Elizabeth Jennings on The Americans, and I love watching them too. Jahan is a highly-skilled operative out to get the job done, but with a moral compass all his own—and it’s one that may only sometimes align with yours. But he’s always fascinating and his adventures are worthy of any galactic James Bond.

Favorite EU comic relief: Bahb, Jahn, Marruc and Rahuhl, Leia’s Zeltron attaches from the old Marvel comics. (You know I had to get in a Zeltron reference!) If you haven’t read the issues they’re in (around 95 or so), do yourself a favor and check them out. Their youthful exuberance provides a hilarious counterpoint to Leia’s seriousness and Han’s cynicism. Plus their outfits are totally ’80s, which is reason enough to love them.

Favorite EU villain: I think I’ve mentioned this before, but: the Yuuzhan Vong. They just creep me out. Creep. Me. Out. I can’t give enough kudos to the authors of the New Jedi Order for making them absolutely terrifying.

Who are your favorites? Let me know in the comments below!

Jennifer Heddle is senior editor at Lucas Books. Follow her on Twitter at @jenheddle.