June 29, 2012

Out of the Shadows: How Shadows of the Empire Made its Way to the Star Wars Screen

The recent trailer for Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 5 (now available on StarWars.com) teases the appearance of The Black Sun, the crime syndicate from Steve Perry's 1996 Shadows of the Empire novel and it's vast accompanying merchandise campaign.  While this might be the most overt nod to Shadows seen on screen yet, it's not the first time that elements from the book are seen in the films or on The Clone Wars

Swoop bikes from Shadows of the Empire were added to the 1997 special edition release of Star Wars: A New Hope as Luke and Ben enter Mos Eisley spaceport.  The extended scene featuresa swoop bike scaring a ronto.  Dash Rendar's Outrider also makes a minor cameo in Mos Eisley, seen lifting off in the distance.  Here we also see an ASP-series  droid swatting an Imperial droid.  Yet another addition to the Star Wars Special Edition is the appearance of the Sentinel-class landing craft seen in the new dewback scene as well as above Mos Eisley.

In Star Wars: Episode I Prince Xizor appears as a spectator in the Mos Espa Arena, thanks to the model making crew using his Micro-Machines figure to populate the crowd.

More than a decade later, we find more connections in The Clone Wars.  Bossk's spaceship, Hounds Tooth, made it's first television appearance in Season 4's "Bounty."  The ship was first seen in the Shadows of the Empire comic series. 

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