The Star Wars Multiverse PDF Print E-mail
Written by James McFadden   
Sunday, June 15, 2014

 
The Star Wars Multiverse


Fans of DC Comics and Marvel Comics may be familiar with the concept of a "multiverse". In those comic book companies' shared fictional universe, the multiverse is comprised of all various parallel universes and alternate realities and timelines associated with that fictional world. This concept has existed in fiction for many years, and even real world scientists theorize about the concept. In the comic book universes, characters can often travel between universes, which are named after the different Earths that inhabit them, such "Earth-1", "Earth-2", and so on. In many cases, these other realities are based on spin-offs and adaptations. For example, the mainstream Marvel Comics universe is Earth-616, while the recent X-Men film trilogy takes place on Earth-10005.

It could be said that a Star Wars multiverse exists, as well, though it is definitely not an official part of Star Wars fiction. A large number of universes can be derived from a number of stories. Video games in particular often have a number of conclusions based on the choices made by a player. Three alternate timelines are explored in a series of comic books under the Star Wars: Infinities title, a term which was also adopted to designate some stories as not being a part of the mainstream, "canon" Star Wars continuity. This article lists the most obvious alternate realities of Star Wars fiction, totaling 29.

Generally, the concept of multiple universes is not officially supported by the franchise. The rare occasions when time travel or other dimensions are featured are usually in obscure sources. Only visions of the past and of possible futures are given prominent places in the film trilogies.



CANON VS. LEGENDS

In 2014, preparing for the arrival of Star Wars Episode VII, Lucasfilm announced that the new films and television series would not adhere to the events and stories of the "Expanded Universe" spin-off material released from 1977 to the middle of 2014. Also, the spin-offs going forward would be overseen by a story group that would strictly make all stories fit in one continuity. The older Expanded Universe material will now be labeled "Legends" for the purposes or reprints and re-releases.



THE RULES

What is a separate universe?
:
For this article, only a fully-realized, separate continuity is considered its own universe. In the video game Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, players can make choices that lead Kyle Katarn down the path of the Dark Side of the Force. Players witness and take part in this alternate timeline that ends with Katarn becoming the new Galactic Emperor. This wildly differs from the official history in which Katarn becomes a member of Luke Skywalker's new Jedi order, and would lead to a very different history of the galaxy. An entire expansion to The Force Unleashed video game (The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition) is a sequel to that game's "Dark Side ending."

 
What isn't a separate universe?
:
Continuity errors and conflicts within a story do not make for an alternate universe.While sources like the Marvel Comics Star Wars series or the Ewoks and Droids cartoons occasionally conflict with the later Expanded Universe stories, many of those errors have been corrected or explained away in subsequent sources. Fans have noted a number of inconsistencies between The Clone Wars animated series and the stories of the Expanded Universe. This listing assumes that many of those problems will be solved by later EU authors, allowing the series to fit within the established continuity. Some have suggested that the Expanded Universe could be considered a separate continuity from a smaller continuity based only on the films and television series that George Lucas is involved with. This listing assumes that they are one and same.

Straight parodies of the universe which are obviously not meant to be more than single stories are not included here, such as the many short comic stories featured the Star Wars Tales comic book series. One exception to this is the Tag & Bink series of stories which, while intended to be a series comedic tales existing outside of the main continuity, has its own internal history in which the lead characters interact with the film trilogies from "behind the scenes." A second exception is the LEGO Star Wars series of video games. These games offer a fun, lighter version of the events of the films and often parody the storyline, but the sheer volume of the material has essentially created its own alternate universe.

The prominent parodies of the franchise created by the Family Guy and Robot Chicken television series are vast and detailed, but these works are considered fan-made parodies for the purposes of this list.

 

 

Canon Universe:

11.
Episode I: The Phantom Menace
11. Episode II: Attack of the Clones
11. Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
11. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
11. Episode IV: A New Hope
11. Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
11. Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
11. Episode VIII: The Force Awakens
11. Star Wars: The Clone Wars
11. Star Wars Rebels
11. New Expanded Universe (2014- )

       (+ Indiana Jones film series, Young Indiana Jones and spin-offs)
       (+ E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial and E.T.: The Book of the Green Planet novel)

The inclusion of Indy is arguable, of course, but the droids do show up in hieroglyphic form in Raiders of the Lost Ark. E.T. is here since aliens based on the character appear in the Republic Senate in The Phantom Menace, and once source hints that one member of that race traveled to our galaxy from the Star Wars galaxy. See  the article's introduction for more info on the Canon and Legends universes.

 

Legends Universe:

12.
Episode I: The Phantom Menace
11. Episode II: Attack of the Clones
11. Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
11. Episode IV: A New Hope
11. Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
11. Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
11. Star Wars: The Clone Wars
11. Original Expanded Universe (1977-2014)

       (+ Indiana Jones film series, Young Indiana Jones and spin-offs)
       (+ E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial and E.T.: The Book of the Green Planet novel)

See the article's introduction for more info on the Canon and Legends universes.

 

Infinities:

1
3. Star Wars Infinities: A New Hope
14. Star Wars Infinities: The Empire Strikes Back
15. Star Wars Infinities: Return of the Jedi

The Infinities stories are not a continuous trilogy, but three brand new variations of each original film.

 

Video Games:

1
6. Rebel Assault - Rookie One (Male) destroys the first Death Star

17. Rebel Assault - Rookie One (Female) destroys the first Death Star

1
8. Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II - Dark Side ending

19. Rebellion - The Rebel Alliance is defeated

10. Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy - Dark Side ending

11. Knights of the Old Republic - Male Revan, Dark Side ending
12. Knights of the Old Republic - Female Revan, Light Side ending
13. Knights of the Old Republic - Female Revan, Dark Side ending

14.
Knights of the Old Republic II - Female Exile, Dark Side ending
15. Knights of the Old Republic II - Male Exile, Light Side ending
16. Knights of the Old Republic II - Male Exile, Dark Side ending

17. Episode III: Revenge of the Sith - Alternate ending; Anakin kills Obi-Wan & Palpatine

18.
The Force Unleashed - Dark Side ending
   + The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition

19. The Force Unleashed II - Dark Side ending
   + (+ "The Battle of Endor" downloadable expansion)

Lucasfilm has, in most cases, chosen to make one version of each of these games canon. All of these above are the OTHER versions of the games. Some allow the player to choose to play them "good" or "evil". So far it seems that all "Dark Side Endings" are non-canon, while Revan is officially male and The Exile is officially female. For those unfamiliar with the games, even the player character's gender can change the storyline as far as potential romantic relationships. These variations are all included here since each variation of these games does exist, and has been played and experienced by many players.

 

Choose Your Own Star Wars Adventure:

20.
Choose Your Own Star Wars Adventure: A New Hope
15. Choose Your Own Star Wars Adventure: The Empire Strikes Back
15. Choose Your Own Star Wars Adventure: Return of the Jedi

By definition, a "choose your own adventure" style book includes multiple outcomes, but this series is included because it features a character referred to as Luke's Skywalker best friend, who acts as a stand in for the reader. The character tags along with Luke and the film characters, taking part in all the major events Luke does. Each sequel book presumes the last book followed the events of the film it is based on. But the inclusion of Luke's friend creates an alternate version of the original film trilogy.

 

Visions of the Blade:

21.
Star Wars: Visions of the Blade
15. Soulcaliber video game series

A short comic -- deliberately non-canon -- created a brief explanation of certain Star Wars characters' appearances in Soulcaliber IV as playable fighters. Presumably, all other prequels and sequels to this game are part of a single continuity.

 

Tag & Bink:

22.
Tag & Bink: Revenge of the Clone Menace
16. Tag & Bink Are Dead
16. The Return of Tag & Bink: Special Edition
       ("A Death Star is Born," "Force Fiction" & "Fett Club")

I think it may be more fun to consider these characters to be fully canon, but they're not intended to be. I'm uncertain if we should include the other comedic short stories by the same creators in a single continuity, if we should consider them canon, or simply see them as one-time parodies. A short story from Star Wars Tales, "The Revenge of Tag & Bink," was later contradicted by The Return of Tag & Bink: Special Edition, so it is not included here. Since it's a single story, it's not being listed as a separate universe.

 

LEGO Star Wars:

23.
LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game
17. LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
17. LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
17. LEGO Star Wars: The Quest for R2-D2
17. LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars

This a fun series of video games and animated television specials -- mostly aimed at kids -- that are essentially parodies of the films, though the gameplay often follows the movie plots closely. The Quest for R2-D2 is a short online game with a new story. LEGO Star Wars III, based on the Clone Wars animated television series, was released in 2011.

Darth Vader and Son:

24.
Darth Vader and Son
17. Vader's Little Princess
17. Jedi Academy

This is a light-hearted series of books that reimagines Darth Vader as a kindly father raising Luke and Leia from childhood. The books are written and illustrated in the style of children's books and include the twins growing up like regular kids. Jedi Academy is a similar spin-off following a boy named Roan struggling through a middle school for young Jedi.

 

Angry Birds Star Wars:

25.
Angry Birds Star Wars
17. Angry Birds Star Wars II
17. Angry Birds Star Wars childrens' books

This Star Wars-themed version of the popular video game series could be seen as a parody in the way in modifies its original cartoon bird characters to resemble Star Wars characters, but a series of books based on the games give them different names and back stories. The first game is based on the Original Trilogy, while the second game is based on the Prequels.


Tiny Death Star:

26.
Tiny Death Star video game

This video game available on mobile devices lets players build and maintain businesses and services on a re-imagined Death Star that features residents and stores. Essentially a Star Wars-themed adaptation of Tiny Tower from the company NimbleBit, the game features characters and elements from various eras interacting. For many reasons this has to be set in its own tiny world.


Transformers Crossovers:

27.
Star Wars Transformers toy line
17. Star Wars Transformers Crossovers toy line

These series of toys are based on the famed Hasbro line of transforming robots. In this variation started in 2006, Star Wars vehicles transform into robots based on characters from the saga. Though there is little in the way of a storyline that goes with these toys, the fact that Star Wars characters can morph into transforming robots doesn't really make a whole lot of sense in the main continuity. In 2015, Transformers Animated: The Complete AllSpark Almanac was released and this universe was given a name in the Transformers franchise's "universal stream" system, Lukas 577.25 Beta. The name comes from George Lucas' name and the release date of the first Star Wars film. For more on universal streams, see this page at the Transformers Wiki: http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Lukas_577.25_Beta


28.
Attacktix toy line
17.
This toy line is actually a game where stylized action figures armed with spring-loaded weapons and features fight each other. The game included a variety of licensed characters, including Star Wars and The Transformers. A 2006 release combined both properties in a Star Wars vs. Transformers boxed set labeled an "Intergalactic Showdown." The Transformers Facebook column "Ask Vector Prime" later referred to the universe where Darth Vader fought Optimus Prime as Iocus 606.0 Beta in the above-mentioned "universal stream" system. Find out more on the Transformers Wiki: http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Iocus_606.0_Beta

 

The Star Wars:

29.
The Star Wars comic book mini-series

This comic book series is based on one of George Lucas' earliest drafts of the screenplay for the first Star Wars film. The characters and events of the series are different enough to be considered an alternate universe.

 

 
 
 There's a thread discussing this list at TheForce.net's message boards, here.

 

Last Updated ( Wednesday, November 30, 2016 )